Issa issues four subpoenas in Benghazi probe

posted at 2:01 pm on June 25, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

While the world continues to play Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego with Edward Snowden, Congress continues its probe in another area of security and counterterrorism.  House Oversight Chair Darrell Issa reprimanded Secretary of State John Kerry’s chief of staff for dragging his feet on requests to depose twelve more State Department officials, and issued subpoenas for four of them to testify before they had a chance to be “rehearsed or coached”:

House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on Tuesday subpoenaed four State Department officials as part of his investigation into the administration’s response to the Benghazi mission attack.

In a sharply worded letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, Issa wrote that State chief of staff David Wade has been uncooperative since being first approached in mid-May with the request to make 13 State Department personnel available for depositions. …

The newly deposed individuals are Eric Boswell, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s former assistant secretary and its former principal deputy assistant secretary; Scott Bultrowicz, the director of the Diplomatic Security Service; and Elizabeth Dibble and Elizabeth Jones, the former principal deputy assistant secretary and the acting assistant secretary at the Bureau Near Eastern Affairs, respectively.

Issa has already deposed the two co-authors of last year’s Accountability Review Board (ARB) investigation into the attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

There may be eight more subpoenas coming, according to this letter.  Only one of the 13 requested officials has been made available to Oversight for depositions, almost six weeks after Issa identified the baker’s dozen to State.  Issa’s accusation of rehearsing or coaching witnesses didn’t come out of the blue, either (emphasis mine):

In fact, it is my understanding that interviews will not occur until the middle of July because the State Department is just now preparing documents and other materials for the witnesses to review.  I respect the witnesses’ interest in preparing to answer the Committee’s questions; however, I am concerned that waiting weeks or months to while the Department prepares witnesses to be interviewed creates the risk that their testimony will have been rehearsed or coached.  It does not require weeks of preparation to answer questions truthfully.

Two questions arise from this request.  First, why are these witnesses only now familiarizing themselves with documents and materials relevant to the Benghazi attack and the security conditions that preceded it?  This has been under investigation since it happened.  The ARB conducted its entire investigation within three months of the attack.  Shouldn’t they already be familiar with these materials, as the ARB should have asked about them a few months ago?

Also, what materials are they reviewing, anyway?  Does Oversight have access to them?  If so, then it should be no problem to make the materials available for reference in the deposition.  If not, then Issa’s going to need a few more subpoenas to hand out at Foggy Bottom.

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General Ham is scheduled to testify in closed session tomorrow or Thursday…

… Expect an attack in Syria by the end of the week.

Seven Percent Solution on June 25, 2013 at 2:07 PM

but, but, but… Killary needs to know a specific date to bump her head!

viking01 on June 25, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Where are Gen. Ham and Adm. Gaouette? Has Issa talked with them yet?

petefrt on June 25, 2013 at 2:08 PM

And the witch hunt to ‘get’ Obama continues. /

Liam on June 25, 2013 at 2:09 PM

I no longer have confidence in Issa. He’s all bark, no bite.

joekenha on June 25, 2013 at 2:09 PM

I no longer have confidence in Issa. He’s all bark, no bite.

joekenha on June 25, 2013 at 2:09 PM

He does tend to start out Fast & Furious then Sgt. Schultz about it.

viking01 on June 25, 2013 at 2:15 PM

And the IRS ??

TerryW on June 25, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Nothing to see here
-lsm

cmsinaz on June 25, 2013 at 2:21 PM

General Ham is scheduled to testify in closed session tomorrow or Thursday…

… Expect an attack in Syria by the end of the week.

Seven Percent Solution on June 25, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Are you suggesting there may be evidence of the Benghazi fiasco there?

DDay on June 25, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Agree Joe

cmsinaz on June 25, 2013 at 2:22 PM

I’m thinking that these folks won’t even show up, subpoena or not-they will have the President and Holder running interference for them.

And if they do they’ll simply lie and say they don’t know anything.

What they need are actual records, but I can’t think of any law enforcement entity that Congress has that can physically get them. Besides, within Congress itself the Dems will run interference.

Nothing will come of all this without more whistle-blowing/leaking, and then how far does that get if the “press” chooses not to cover it much? Also, this administration is obviously scaring off whistle-blowers with the threat of prosecution.

Watergate was a huge deal not so much because of what happened, but rather how the “press” kept it in the limelight (ad nauseum) for years. That’s simply not going to happen under a Dem president. Monica Lewinsky got tons of coverage because it was interestingly lurid and the press knew it would have no real political repercussions given the times and Clinton’s popularity. In retrospect, they also managed to make it look like Clinton was being unfairly treated for political gains by the Republicans.

In effect, Obummer has a shadow government and looking at how DHS has been adding to their arsenal, possibly a shadow army?

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 25, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Benghazi??

That is like sooo yesterday’s news…like really old.

The maxim “strike while the iron is hot” was ignored.

Now most of this stuff is meaningless, unfortunately.

America does not care. Our present government certainly would like it all to just go away. Good and decent lives lost for what?

IRS scandal? What scandal? They were “doin’ it” to progressives as well…if the idiot in charge of IRS can be believed. [Haven't shown any proof yet...probably misplaced it on Holder's desk or something.]

NSA? Who cares? They were only doing their job until that Snowden guy destroyed America.

Constitution? Separation of powers? Obama just sends out special memos and soon new regulations are born…can’t pass a bill into law…just ExecOrder it…

Sorry Darrell…had your moment to actually do something for the nation…waited too long…amnesty is what is hot and cookin’ this week.

Fundamentally change the way we are governed…the only promise Obama seems to have kept.

coldwarrior on June 25, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Issa issues four subpoenas in Benghazi probe

I was thinking more like 40 Darrell….oh well,
I can dream….

ToddPA on June 25, 2013 at 2:32 PM

General Ham is scheduled to testify in closed session tomorrow or Thursday…

Tomorrow. Lt. Col. Gibson and Rear Admiral Brian Losey are also being questioned. Gibson is the one (according to testimony by Hicks) that was told not to board the plane in Tripoli the night of the attack.
I don’t recall hearing about Losey before this , but he is also from
Special Operations Command in Africa.

lynncgb on June 25, 2013 at 2:32 PM

DDay on June 25, 2013 at 2:21 PM

I would think more like a wag the dog experience. But I don’t want to talk for 7%.

esr1951 on June 25, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Who cares? He isn’t going to do anything like hold anyone accountable. Holder is still a free man, isn’t he? The GOP are useless clowns.

dogsoldier on June 25, 2013 at 2:37 PM

Summer of scandals is turning into summer of fizzles. There’s enough here to burn a republican administration 5 times over but somehow nothing of real substance occurs.

jaywemm on June 25, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Nine months ago and the snowball keeps rolling on Benghazi and it’s just another day for the politicians while the four families suffer not knowing the truth. I hope the voters remember this next year at the poles when they vote. Isn’t it amazing how the government exposed to a truth goes berserk.

mixplix on June 25, 2013 at 2:39 PM

John Kerry told the Committee he didn’t want to spend his time as SoS before them answering Benghazi questions. Now is the time to show he meant that.

If he doesn’t cooperate, zero out his travel budget. That will get Frenchy’s attention.

Adjoran on June 25, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Oooh, subpoenas. A sharply worded letter. Now we’re getting serious!

Get real. These subpoenas and sharply worded letters will be enforced with the same resolve as everything else the House Republicans have threatened: none. Heck, they’ve even held members of this administration in contempt of Congress and yet done nothing to them. And Obama knows it.

More worthless theater on the part of the GOP.

Shump on June 25, 2013 at 2:45 PM

I no longer have confidence in Issa. He’s all bark, no bite.
joekenha on June 25, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Oooo, the dreaded “sternly worded letter.” Come on, Congressman, lets get something done, like a 10% budget cut for every week they delay.

yesiamapirate on June 25, 2013 at 2:46 PM

Obozo and the MSM lied and covered up so he can steal his re-election, we lost the battle on this

But the greater war here is Hillary 2016. If we don’t keep Benghazi churning and hang it around her neck (where it belongs), we don’t have a prayer in 2016

My prediction– as things get warmer and closer to Hillary, expect Bill’s henchman to start leaking like crazy to put the blame on Obozo instead of Hillary

thurman on June 25, 2013 at 2:47 PM

My apologies, “sharply worded letter.”

yesiamapirate on June 25, 2013 at 2:48 PM

General Ham is scheduled to testify in closed session tomorrow or Thursday…

Seven Percent Solution on June 25, 2013 at 2:07 PM

I want to see the look on their faces just after they hear that testimony.

petefrt on June 25, 2013 at 2:50 PM

I’d say go with everything you got Issa, the longer it goes the further from the truth we’ll get. We need a distraction from all this illegal immigration amnesty crap.

DanMan on June 25, 2013 at 2:52 PM

My prediction– as things get warmer and closer to Hillary, expect Bill’s henchman to start leaking like crazy to put the blame on Obozo instead of Hillary

thurman on June 25, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Mine too. Here, have some of my popcorn while we wait. Breitbart:

Stevens’ mission in Benghazi, they will say, was to buy back Stinger missiles from al-Qaeda groups issued to them by the State Department, not by the CIA. Such a mission would usually be a CIA effort, but the intelligence agency had opposed the idea because of the high risk involved in arming “insurgents” with powerful weapons that endanger civilian aircraft.

petefrt on June 25, 2013 at 2:56 PM

What they need are actual records, but I can’t think of any law enforcement entity that Congress has that can physically get them.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 25, 2013 at 2:24 PM

The United States Marshals Service also executes all lawful writs, processes, and orders issued under the authority of the United States, and shall command all necessary assistance to execute its duties.

Solaratov on June 25, 2013 at 3:01 PM

I’m starting to feel like every day the GOP has another hearing or issues another letter, the more incompetent and stupid they look. Obama is running rings around them and they’re just scratching their heads, issuing letters and using strong words.

It’s an embarrassment.

hisfrogness on June 25, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Why does it take weeks to prepare to tell your client how to “make a brief statement saying you have done nothing wrong and then plead the Fifth.”

BigAlSouth on June 25, 2013 at 3:15 PM

Summer of scandals is turning into summer of fizzles. There’s enough here to burn a republican administration 5 times over but somehow nothing of real substance occurs.

jaywemm on June 25, 2013 at 2:38 PM

One might get the feeling that the pols on different sides can still relate to each other better than either side can relate to us peasants.

Maybe they are protecting their class against the pitchfork class. (ref: NDAA, Kabuki Theater).

Tsar of Earth on June 25, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Same day his IRS/White House ‘scandal’ fizzles away…he pivots.

verbaluce on June 25, 2013 at 3:25 PM

Thurman on June 25, 2013 at 2:47PM …
I think you’re on to something with that idea. They’re bad feelings between the King Putt’s and the Killery camp. Deeply held bad feelings and the $8M bailout of Killery’s 2008 campaign will not sooth the fury of The Killery (just ask Bill).
Oh, and subpoenas? (legal meaning ‘under penalty’) only work if there is fear of PUNISHMENT by those who are served with such papers.
If they cannot put together either an investigative committee or a ‘special prosecutor’ of some sort, with some serious fortitude, this will spiral into nothingness. Because the Manure Spreading Media doesn’t give a shiite.

Missilengr on June 25, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Issa?????

#fail

PappyD61 on June 25, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Does anyone have any details on the new conservative news cable show?
We need to turn away from the mainstream media (and that includes Fox to a great degree) and give our attention to an outlet that reports the facts, assuming that is their intention.

If this new media outlet can keep focus on these scandals, perhaps the people themselves will learn more about them and insist on action. I have many friends and business associates who are not political junkies who have little or no clue what is going on. I would like to steer them in the direction of watching this new conservative channel.

Amjean on June 25, 2013 at 3:57 PM

I’m starting to feel like every day the GOP has another hearing or issues another letter, the more incompetent and stupid they look. Obama is running rings around them and they’re just scratching their heads, issuing letters and using strong words.

It’s an embarrassment.

hisfrogness on June 25, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Process, there is a legal process to follow.

It took years for Watergate, now I am sure you have the legal background to direct this much, much better.

BTW, a subpoena is not “another letter”…

right2bright on June 25, 2013 at 3:58 PM

For all the people here that “get it” about Issa, they seem to not be able to connect two distinct threads together with Snowden. For all those that suggest Snowden should have whistleblown through the “proper channels”, Issa probably being (supposedly) one of the more tough people to take it on, Snowden sees what everyone else here sees about “going to Congress” to get something done . Instant he opens his mouth to anyone in that town he’s dead-man-walking and he knew it.

#Fail is understatement.

SkinnerVic on June 25, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Issa?????

#fail

PappyD61 on June 25, 2013 at 3:31 PM

No, Issa is doing his job, it’s the other Republicans that are sitting on their hands and not shouting this from the rooftops.

Issa needs backup, he needs a political group with huevos that are not afraid to go out and challenge the media on this, talk it up on every talk show.

The dems have no problem sending out their attack dogs on the most ridiculous charges, but Boehner, McCain, Graham, Hatch, the whole bunch of “leaders” sit back and let others do the heavy lifting.

Issa has been awesome, considering the restraints he has been under.

right2bright on June 25, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Same day his IRS/White House ‘scandal’ fizzles away…he pivots.

verbaluce on June 25, 2013 at 3:25 PM

Verb, you are wishcasting here on saying the IRS scandal has fizzled. You’re basing this on what, exactly?

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on June 25, 2013 at 4:10 PM

BTW, a subpoena is not “another letter”…

right2bright on June 25, 2013 at 3:58 PM

It is if it’s never enforced. Show me one time that the GOP Congress has enforced something against Obama.

Shump on June 25, 2013 at 4:11 PM

‘It does not require weeks of preparation to answer questions truthfully.’

But it does for a web of lies and deceipt.

locomotivebreath1901 on June 25, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Wake me when someone files criminal charges.

SomeCallMeJohn on June 26, 2013 at 1:22 PM