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Topics: House of Representatives

Issa issues subpoena on Benghazi talking points

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Sean Higgins,House of Representatives,Darrell Issa,Benghazi

Rep.  Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, on Tuesday issued a subpoena to the State Department relating to the Benghazi talking points, arguing that the administration is still withholding documents:

The letter, dated Tuesday, states:

The State Department has not lived up to the Administration’s broad and unambiguous promises of cooperation with Congress. Therefore, I am left with no alternative but to compel the State Department to produce relevant documents through a subpoena. The enclosed subpoena covers documents and communications related to the talking points prepared for Members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and used by Ambassador Susan Rice during her September 16, 2012 appearances on CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and CNN.

In a statement emailed to reporters, Issa explained:

The documents the White House released on May 15, 2013 did not answer outstanding questions about who at the State Department, other than spokesperson Victoria Nuland, expressed reservations about certain aspects of the talking points, including language that made clear the State Department had received prior warnings of threats in the region and was aware of previous attacks on foreign interests in eastern Libya, and that extremists linked to al Qa’ida may have participated in the attacks. Nuland’s correspondence to the interagency suggests that she did not raise these concerns in a vacuum. For example, after changes were made to address State Department concerns, Nuland responded that the changes did not “resolve all my issues or those of my building leadership … The documents the enclosed subpoena covers will help the Committee understand why, although on the day after the attacks senior State Department leadership believed that Islamic extremists were involved, there were reservations about publicly acknowledging any such involvement just three days later.

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