Issa subpoenas State Department for withheld Benghazi talking point documents

posted at 4:41 pm on May 28, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee have been insisting that, despite their indignant insistence to the contrary, the Obama administration still has plenty of explaining to do and needs to release more documents relating to the deadly terrorist attack in Benghazi last September and the subsequent talking-point shenanigans. Last week, Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry reminding him of his promise to run “an accountable and open State Department” and asking that he make available for questioning a list of State employees that have yet to be thoroughly cross-examined, so to speak –  and on Tuesday, Issa straight-up subpoenaed the State Department for all of the documents and communications relating to the Benghazi talking points. Boom, via The Hill:

In the letter, Issa states that the department’s release of 100 emails earlier this month was “incomplete.” Issa demands that Kerry produce “relevant documents through subpoena. The enclosed subpoena covers documents and the communications related to talking points prepared for members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and used by Ambassador Susan Rice during her September 16th, 2012, appearances on CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, and CNN.”

Issa said that the documents released on May 20th did not answer “critical” questions posed by the committee as it investigates what happened during the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and the aftermath of that terror attack that killed former U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stephens and three other U.S. officials.

The subpoena (you can read the full letter here) allows the State Department until June 7th to pony up the full range of documents they have so far declined to turn over voluntarily, which Issa’s letter claims are “crucial to the Committee’s investigation” — specifically, the Committee is looking for the relevant communications between these guys:

The letter and subpoena gives sets a deadline of Friday, June 7, 2013, for Secretary Kerry to provide all documents and communications referring or relating to the Benghazi talking points, to or from the following current and former State Department personnel:

1.      William Burns, Deputy Secretary of State;
2.      Elizabeth Dibble, Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs;
3.      Beth Jones, Acting Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs;
4.      Patrick Kennedy, Under Secretary for Management;
5.      Cheryl Mills, Counselor and Chief of Staff to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton;
6.      Thomas Nides, Deputy Secretary for Management;
7.      Victoria Nuland, Spokesperson;
8.      Philippe Reines, Deputy Assistant Secretary;
9.      Jake Sullivan, Director of Policy Planning; and,
10.  David Adams, Assistant Secretary for State for Legislative Affairs.

The administration has managed to worm their way out of providing Congress with all of the requested information and/or just flat-out ignored them to date, but I can’t believe that they ever thought for one moment the Oversight Committee would demur from issuing a subpoena when push came to shove; it’s going to be very telling to see how far they may-or-may-not be willing to go to avoid turning over whatever it is they have been so keen to avoid so far. Maybe they’ll comply with the subpoena; or they might “comply” with the subpoena, pulling rank and issuing redacted materials to stall further; or, are they really willing to take this thing to court, in hopes of pushing it into murky, drawn-out, and (with any luck) largely overlooked territory à la Fast and Furious? We shall see.


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Sure, Issa. Fax that right over. They’ll get on it right away. /

Liam on May 28, 2013 at 4:43 PM

…uh huh!

KOOLAID2 on May 28, 2013 at 4:43 PM

A 1,000 page document with a…the…and…the only words not blacked out.

kingsjester on May 28, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Scroom Issa, Boehner, Cantor, Romney and all who knew long bef. the 2012 election, and said nothing.

They are more cupable than the charlatanich Thug in Chief.

Schadenfreude on May 28, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Screw the talking points…

… Get Col. Ham under oath and ask him who ordered the ‘stand down’!

Seven Percent Solution on May 28, 2013 at 4:49 PM

…or they might “comply” with the subpoena, pulling rank and issuing redacted materials to stall further; or, are they really willing to take this thing to court, in hopes of pushing it into murky, drawn-out, and (with any luck) largely overlooked territory à la Fast and Furious?

I’d guess that they’re going with the redacted emails and stall plan. Then they’ll brag about how, as the most transparent administration in history, they’ve provided an unprecedented 1,000,000 documents.

Curtiss on May 28, 2013 at 4:50 PM

pulling rank and issuing redacted materials to stall further

Would be my guess.

a capella on May 28, 2013 at 4:50 PM

charlatanic Thug…and all who brung/kept him. May he destroy you, for good.

Schadenfreude on May 28, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Executive privilege, here we come.

The Rogue Tomato on May 28, 2013 at 4:55 PM

on Tuesday, Issa straight-up subpoenaed the State Department for all of the documents and communications relating to the Benghazi talking points.

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOOLOLOLOLOOOOOLLOLOLOLOL.

This should have been done BEFORE THE ELECTION when the gop leadership knew this Administration failed and four Americans died. But Boehner and his “young guns” kept quiet and didn’t want to get in the gutter or whatever.

gop leadership………….despicable accomplices.

PappyD61 on May 28, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Issa wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry reminding him of his promise to run “an accountable and open State Department

John Kerry, AKA The Worthless Tw@t, was lying.

The White House will say some overzealous cleaning lady accidentally shredded all related documents and they are no longer available. Sorry, we’re just incompetent….

ScottG on May 28, 2013 at 4:59 PM

who ordered the ‘stand down’!

Seven Percent Solution on May 28, 2013 at 4:49 PM

…if we had you…instead of Issa and the other “talking heads”…people would be in jail for Fast & Furious already….and a trial would have begun on Benghazi already!
(:->)

KOOLAID2 on May 28, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Executive privilege, here we come.

The Rogue Tomato on May 28, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Where is the subpoena for private citizen Shillary?

ladyingray on May 28, 2013 at 5:01 PM

At this point…

trigon on May 28, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Does everyone have fab shoes? We need to talk more about that.

/

Bob's Kid on May 28, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Screw the talking points…

… Get Col. Ham under oath and ask him who ordered the ‘stand down’!

Seven Percent Solution on May 28, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Exactly, stop the baby steps and let’s get down to some foot stomping.

hillsoftx on May 28, 2013 at 5:12 PM

I hope Issa plans on Hillary next after this round of stonewalling from the obamination.

D-fusit on May 28, 2013 at 5:14 PM

7%, it’s GEN Ham btw.

D-fusit on May 28, 2013 at 5:15 PM

What about all the yahoo and gmail accounts? You know they all have em.

Maybe he will get lucky and they will fail to redact an @gmail.com or @yahoo.com email ending. That’ll open the doors wide open for a forensic audit. You just know there is a foxyval@gmail . Com account out there dontcha.

can_con on May 28, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Newsflash! Digital ink shortage due to redaction overload at the State department!

michaelo on May 28, 2013 at 5:16 PM

This either goes all the way to the top or it doesn’t, and if it doesn’t, then anybody who is jailed will simply be pardoned by January 2017. Regardless of who is president at that time (Biden will do his master’s bidding if the marxist-in-chief is somehow evicted from office.)

HiJack on May 28, 2013 at 5:17 PM

We got one official pleading the 5th, now will we get to hear the magic phrase “Executive privlage?”

This could be a fun summer.

tbrickert on May 28, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Geez, I hope they find something that will stick.

Arguing with a friend recently, he totally was buying into the Obama cry of “there’s no THERE there”. And he also equated it as simply a mistake that, in hindsight, should have been foreseen. “Just like the Beirut bombing”, he says.

I countered that the two events were in no way similar. The fight was going on for hours, and we did nothing to provide aid or assistance. It wasn’t like a bomb went off in one second, and it was all over.

He says we wouldn’t be so concerned if it wasn’t for the fact that “an ambassador was killed”. I erupted. Had nothing to do with an ambassador being killed. It was an attack on US citizens on US territory. Inaction should not have even been an option, much less the option taken.

I still think the story has legs. Show these liars and cowards for who they are – ignoble politicians, concerned above all with holding onto power.

connertown on May 28, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Glaringly absent is a request for emails to/from Hillary Clinton.

I assume Issa left those out to minimize howling from dems that this is a partisan witch-hunt, and hope that once Issa gets the subordinates’ emails, he’ll move up the chain.

LASue on May 28, 2013 at 5:23 PM

connertown on May 28, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Maybe your friend would have a different attitude if we were talking about a Bush administration making the same mistake. Not that that would have happened, but if it had then the opposite should be considered: what would our attitudes be if the situation had been reversed? For me; no difference at all.

HiJack on May 28, 2013 at 5:23 PM

I’m quite sure the Obama administration is hoping they can use the subpoena to paint the Republicans as being on a partisan witch hunt. Then, they’ll be counting on the media to build up public pressure to make Congress back down.

They’re overestimating themselves. The tactic has worked in the past, but it gets less effective every time.

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 28, 2013 at 5:35 PM

7%, it’s GEN Ham btw.

D-fusit on May 28, 2013 at 5:15 PM

If he testifies, he may go back to Col. Ham….

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 28, 2013 at 5:37 PM

More vomit-inducing kabuki from Issa; Fast & Furious, redux …

ShainS on May 28, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Sounds pretty racist to me, getting to the truth of the Benghazi debacle.

jukin3 on May 28, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Like I heard on Hannity’s radio show a little bit ago… Who decided to strip the talking points of every bit of truth and replace it with that stupid YouTube video story?

Oink on May 28, 2013 at 5:45 PM

1. William Burns, Deputy Secretary of State;
2. Elizabeth Dibble, Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs;
3. Beth Jones, Acting Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs;
4. Patrick Kennedy, Under Secretary for Management;
5. Cheryl Mills, Counselor and Chief of Staff to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton;
6. Thomas Nides, Deputy Secretary for Management;
7. Victoria Nuland, Spokesperson;
8. Philippe Reines, Deputy Assistant Secretary;
9. Jake Sullivan, Director of Policy Planning; and,
10. David Adams, Assistant Secretary for State for Legislative Affairs.

Interesting to note that Hillary isn’t on the list. As Issa has stated, she is not a specific target of this investigation, but they must figure that she will be implicated as it is for emails to/from all of these folks. Surely Hillary’s name will come up a few times as the sender/receiver of some of these communications, no?

weaselyone on May 28, 2013 at 5:46 PM

Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee have been insisting that, despite their indignant insistence to the contrary, the Obama administration still has plenty of explaining to do and needs to release more documents relating to the deadly terrorist attack in Benghazi last September and the subsequent talking-point shenanigans.

Note that Pelosi’s Democratic controlled House never held any hearings to “get to the bottom” of Bush’s alleged lies about Iraq’s WMDs — about the “Bush lied and people died” mantra the Left still chants. Or about how anyone in the Bush admin lied about Iraq’s WMDs.

That’s because the House Dems knew he didn’t lie and that no one in the admin lied. They would have been embarrassed by the answers they got from any witnesses they called. They knew the mantra and their narrative were nothing but BS serving two purposes. First, they used it to absolve themselves for supporting it initially — I wuz deceived by the evil Bush/Cheney cabal, just like everyone else wuz. Second, they used it as political propaganda to smear Bush and Cheney. Their mindless brain dead supporters still chant that mantra.

What is happening now is what actually happens when the House is really pretty sure someone in the admin lied when people died. Especially when the purpose of the lie was to influence a Presidential election.

Does anyone think for a moment that Pelosi and the House Dems would not have had a similar investigation if they actually believed their own propaganda about how “Bush lied” and thousands of people died because of it? That they gave Bush a pass out of some sense of propriety? Hell, the Dems relentlessly took Nixon to task over a third rate burglary he had nothing to do with and didn’t know about until after the fact, even when it did not influence the outcome of an election in any way.

farsighted on May 28, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Glaringly absent is a request for emails to/from Hillary Clinton.

I assume Issa left those out to minimize howling from dems that this is a partisan witch-hunt, and hope that once Issa gets the subordinates’ emails, he’ll move up the chain.

LASue on May 28, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Hard to imagine Hillary won’t be implicated at all:

The letter and subpoena gives sets a deadline of Friday, June 7, 2013, for Secretary Kerry to provide all documents and communications referring or relating to the Benghazi talking points, to or from the following current and former State Department personnel:

weaselyone on May 28, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Interesting to note that Hillary isn’t on the list. As Issa has stated, she is not a specific target of this investigation, but they must figure that she will be implicated as it is for emails to/from all of these folks. Surely Hillary’s name will come up a few times as the sender/receiver of some of these communications, no?

weaselyone on May 28, 2013 at 5:46 PM

Saving her for last, I hope. After Petraeus and whatever CIA personnel were involved in concocting the lie about the video and the talking points, and in hiding the truth from and deliberately misleading the American people eight weeks before a Presidential election.

farsighted on May 28, 2013 at 5:57 PM

Issa straight-up subpoenaed the State Department for all of the documents and communications relating to the Benghazi talking points.

Since no one in this administration knows anything that means no one has read any of the documents.

docflash on May 28, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Glaringly absent is a request for emails to/from Hillary Clinton.

I assume Issa left those out to minimize howling from dems that this is a partisan witch-hunt, and hope that once Issa gets the subordinates’ emails, he’ll move up the chain.

LASue on May 28, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Hard to imagine Hillary won’t be implicated at all:

The letter and subpoena gives sets a deadline of Friday, June 7, 2013, for Secretary Kerry to provide all documents and communications referring or relating to the Benghazi talking points, to or from the following current and former State Department personnel:

weaselyone on May 28, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Democrats were complaining that the investigation was all about a way to damage Hillary Clinton before the 2016 election. Ludicrous, of course, and it shouldn’t be treated as a serious concern, but I’m sure it explains why Issa didn’t name her specifically.

Presumably, once they really dig into the investigation, Hillary’s role will be too obvious to deny. Not that they won’t try, anyway.

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 28, 2013 at 5:59 PM

With Fast&Furious currently before District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, and with her ordering mediation, how do we find out the status of that “mediation” and will Jackson (an Obama appointee) finally rule on the civil case this summer, impacting the IRS investigation as well?

Anyone?

just that guy on May 28, 2013 at 6:01 PM

What about all the yahoo and gmail accounts? You know they all have em.

Maybe he will get lucky and they will fail to redact an @gmail.com or @yahoo.com email ending. That’ll open the doors wide open for a forensic audit. You just know there is a foxyval@gmail . Com account out there dontcha.

can_con on May 28, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Are there no libertarian l33t h4x0rs out there?

Lost in Jersey on May 28, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Democrats were complaining that the investigation was all about a way to damage Hillary Clinton before the 2016 election. Ludicrous, of course, and it shouldn’t be treated as a serious concern, but I’m sure it explains why Issa didn’t name her specifically.

Presumably, once they really dig into the investigation, Hillary’s role will be too obvious to deny. Not that they won’t try, anyway.

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 28, 2013 at 5:59 PM

I wouldn’t be suprised if any email from/to Hillary is withheld under Executive Privilege based on her assured ascension to the Oval Office in 2016. Heh.

weaselyone on May 28, 2013 at 6:03 PM

The letter and subpoena gives sets a deadline of Friday, June 7, 2013, for Secretary Kerry to provide all documents and communications referring or relating to the Benghazi talking points, to or from the following current and former State Department personnel:

I wonder if this subpoena covers any correspondence up to the date of the subpoena? Would be interesting to see the cockroaches scrambling to cover up the cover up.

weaselyone on May 28, 2013 at 6:05 PM

He says we wouldn’t be so concerned if it wasn’t for the fact that “an ambassador was killed”.

connertown on May 28, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Comrade O wasn’t even concerned enough while it was actually happening, yawn, to keep him from getting a good night’s sleep to rest up before heading out the next day for a big fundraiser in Vegas.

Just a few more Americans murdered in the ME by al Qaeda affiliated terrorists on the anniversary of 9/11. Happens all of the time, right?

farsighted on May 28, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Kerry will release those State Department documents as soon as he releases “all of his military records”.

Don’t hold your breath.

GarandFan on May 28, 2013 at 7:18 PM

Grand Fan you stole my issue:
Why, during Senate confirmation hearings on SOS didn’t ANYONE request that John F’ing ‘Magic Hat’ a.k.a. ‘Horse Head Lerch’ Kerry release (as promised in 2004) his DD-214?
Wouldn’t that clear up his chest full of self awarded medals?

Yea, we’ll see all these Benghazi docs as right after we see Kerry’s discharge papers.

Stupid Republicans.

Missilengr on May 28, 2013 at 8:56 PM

The Benghazi fiasco was monitored in real time by several Operation Centers most importantly the State Dept Ops Center.

One characteristic of Ops Centers is that they keep logs of everything.

Have those logs been provided to the committee? If not, subpoena those too

schmuck281 on May 28, 2013 at 11:04 PM

In related news, a vile hag with a pair of award-winning cankles has been buying out Staples’ entire supply of industrial strength shredders…

dpduq on May 28, 2013 at 11:19 PM

It’s pretty amazing that people have taken the “fact” that Obama went to bed that night as an established fact, as if to excuse this ultimately as some momentary loss of focus. Even if he was on a fund-raiser, he would have been in continuous contact with the levers of government. They always claim that would never get in the way of his executive duties. The real facts may be that he was more than “present” and that he issued the “stand-down” order himself.

What would Issa do then?

virgo on May 29, 2013 at 2:26 AM

This really does remind me more and more of the Nixon administration.

One big headline grabbing scandal, and lots of others that all point to the same thing: an administration-wide abuse of power with little regard to ethics, and sometimes the law.

(Yes, I know I’m oversimplifying, in both cases. Deal with it.)

Chris of Rights on May 29, 2013 at 8:54 AM