Oversight Subpoenas Benghazi Docs

Issa asks for talking points documents

Rep. Darrell Issa / AP
• May 28, 2013 4:40 pm


The House Oversight Committee subpoenaed the State Department on Tuesday for all "documents and communications" related to a series of White House talking points on the Sept. 11, 2011 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) requested the documents in a letter sent Tuesday to Secretary of State John Kerry.

Issa requested all "documents and communications referring or relating to the Benghazi talking points," according to a release from the committee.

This includes the correspondence "from ten current and former State Department officials," according to the release. "The State Department has refused multiple requests to provide the communications and documents on a voluntary basis."

Issa accused the State Department of stonewalling congressional attempts to further investigate the Benghazi attacks, which killed four Americans.

"The State Department has not lived up to the Administration’s broad and unambiguous promises of cooperation with Congress," Issa said in the letter to Kerry. "Therefore, I am left with no alternative but to compel the State Department to produce relevant documents through a subpoena."

"In a series of letters, my colleagues in Congress and I have requested documents and information related to the ongoing investigation," Issa wrote. "To date, the Administration has largely ignored these requests, despite various pledges both you and the President have made to cooperate with Congress."

These documents were originally requested on May 15, according to the oversight committee.

"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," Issa wrote.

"Nuland’s correspondence to the interagency suggests that she did not raise these concerns in a vacuum," the letter states.

"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," Issa wrote.

"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," Issa wrote.

The State Department must comply with the subpoena by Friday, June 7.