Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 12, 2016

House Subpoenas Kerry on Benghazi Email (Updated)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 1:08 p.m. | Citing newly uncovered emails they say raise questions about the honesty of the Obama administration, Republicans called Friday for two new probes into the attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, with House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa subpoenaing Secretary of State John Kerry to testify before his panel andSpeaker John A. Boehner calling for the creation of a special committee.

The moves came after the release of White House emails that show administration adviser Ben Rhodes coordinating a communications response strategy for then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice. Rhodes included in his email that Rice should emphasize that the Sept. 11, 2012, attack was “rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.”

The emails were released to Judicial Watch after a Freedom of Information Act request.

Issa, who has long been trying to show that the administration covered up a botched response to the attack, charged in a Friday letter to Kerry that the State Department has been trying to “illegally withhold subpoenaed material.”

“The fact that these documents were withheld from Congress for more than 19 months is alarming,” Issa wrote. “The Department is not entitled to delay responsive materials because it is embarrassing or implicates the roles and actions of senior officials.”

The subpoena comes a day after Boehner released a statement calling on Kerry to testify.

“Someone needs to answer why this administration hid these documents — and tell the American people what else is being concealed. The House used its subpoena power to obtain documents, including emails, last year, but these emails didn’t show up until now, after a court ordered their release to an outside watchdog group” Boehner said.

A GOP source familiar with the situation said that though House Republicans have been calling on leadership for months to convene such a panel, its formal inception only came about in the past 24 hours, following an interconference eruption over comments by Armed Services Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., discrediting a witness called to testify at a hearing on Benghazi held by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday.

“I appreciate the service of Brigadier General Robert Lovell and his willingness to testify,” McKeon said in a statement released on the same day. “He confirmed what my committee has understood for some time, that the military never believed this was a protest gone bad, and that the President fundamentally failed to posture our forces [to] respond to any emergency in the weeks before [the attack].

“Beyond those confirmations,” McKeon continued, “BG Lovell did not serve in a capacity that gave him reliable insight into operational options available to commanders during the attack … [He] did not further the investigation or reveal anything new.”

The source told CQ Roll Call that the comments set off something of a turf war, and leadership saw the need to compartmentalize the investigation going forward.

Emma Dumain contributed to this report.



Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi: Pelosi Dismisses Email as GOP ‘Subterfuge’


  • voltaic

    Maybe GOP should also have a committee about going to war and killing thousands of soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis for fake WMDs. Maybe they should forma committee to investigate Halliburton no-bid contracts and their shoddy workmanship that electrocuted soldiers in Afghanistan. Maybe they should from a committee and find out why GWB ignored the 9/11 warnings. Maybe GOP should form a committee to investigate why GOP is killing many citizens because they won’t expand Medicare. Maybe GOP could form a committee to investigate why they support NSA spying on all American’s communications. Maybe GOP should form a committee to investigate why they took a budget surplus in 2000 and turned it into record deficits in a couple years. Maybe GOP should form a committee to find out why they spent trillions for tax cuts for the wealthy and voted against a minimum wage increase. Maybe GOP could form a committee to look into why they passed a law that makes it illegal to import less expensive drugs from Canada into the US that would save Americans billions of dollars. Maybe they should form a committee to ask why corporations are hiding trillions of taxable profits offshore to avoid paying US taxes. Maybe GOP could form a committee to find out why they accumulated a backlog of veteran benefits requests and then decided to cut veterans benefits after sending them to war for fake WMDs.

    Those things aren’t important, but the tragic loss of four lives is all they can focus on. They ignore the thouands of deaths they cause with clueless laws and policies, but they focus on four deaths in a war zone. Clowns….

    • mikem42

      Dangerous clowns. Eff Issa.

      • Jack Everett

        Issa should be tarred and feathered before being thrown out on his ear.

        • Arizona Don

          Why because he is going after the crook in the white house for killing people? I bet you were never in the military were you?

          • mikem42

            I’ll take this one Zona, The crook in the white house who killed thousands of people was your guy, G.W. Bush. Remember “Mission Accomplished”? And yes, I was in the military four years, regular Navy. No deferments like most of the Republican chicken hawks who lied us into Iraq. You know, WMD’s. And yes, Issa should be tarred and feathered and thrown out on his ear.

    • Jack Everett

      Any committee the GOP forms is nothing but a pile of crap obstruction.

    • Arizona Don

      First off I am not a huge fan of Bush for at least two to three years of the Bush administration I also criticized him. Mostly after the liberal progressive democrats, somewhat like the front you show, took over congress and things began going into an abyss. That you people later blamed on Bush but was not totally his fault.

      I started to go through you post line by line and debunk each suggested problem. But it and you aren’t worth my time. If your that stupid I’m not going to waste my time trying to educate you. When “your president,” first took office he had Bush investigated for over 6 months. He found nothing to prosecute him for. Rest assured he would have if he had found something. However, suggest away personally I don’t care if you progressives do investigate all those things. Have a ball at it. Just remember no one believes a compulsive liar like obama and before long your all going to get painted with that same brush. Progressivism is communism in disguise.

      If it hadn’t been for fraud he would have never been reelected. Have a nice day.

      • voltaic

        Thanks for reading my post. I know the truth hurts. The House has been in GOP control for 17 of the past 21 years and the GOP has held the senate for 15 of the past 21 years, so to blame the Dems for the abyss is a bit of a stretch.

        Obama is not my favorite guy. I never voted for him. He let the banksters and GWB go scott free. That was unforgivable in both counts.

        Progressive is not communism. Let me explain.

        Progressive: favoring or advocating progress, change, improvement, or reform, as opposed to wishing to maintain things as they are, especially in political matters

        Communist: a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actualownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.

        Conservatism: the disposition to preserve or restore what is established and traditional and to limit change.

        Conservatives don’t like change even if it is for the good. Progressives want to change things that are not good and make them better.

        Right now the US is a plutocracy, which is power to the few and crony capitalism that benefits the connected. Progressives want to change that dynamic so more people have a chance at success and not just the moneyed few. Conservatives should support that effort instead of just saying no to everything. The few rich are getting richer by grabbing what little is left of the poor and middle class. That is how democracies die and totalitarianism begins.

  • Layla

    Benghazi is not going away, no matter where it goes from here. At question is the honor of a sitting President and a presidential candidate. The truth will come out. And that will happen because too many Americans know that we need to get to the bottom of this if we are ever to bring justice to those who serve.

  • Arizona Don

    What exactly will the authority of a special committee be? Is it similar to a special prosecutor? If not what good will it do. If there is no ability stronger then holding eric holder in contempt as has already happened and produced nothing, and had no visible effect even on holder who may or may not be an important part of all this.

    This is not a “phony” scandal, as it has been labeled by obama, it is a serious conspiracy problem because it seems the whole administration is involved. If that were not the case the DOJ more specifically eric holder would have already moved to get to the bottom of this obvious debacle. All that seems to come out of this administration is lies and coverups and then more lies. That has been the case since the fast & furious coverup. Everything about this administration has been lies and coverups starting with his background.

    barack obama has already made history in several instances. He was the first black man to be elected president. Has run up more debt then all the other presidents combined and may make more by being the first president to be impeached and removed from office right along with his attorney general and possibly many more of his administration. Of course only time will tell but the time is growing short. It could even go so far as to see some if not many in this administration imprisoned.

    I must suggest we keep a sharp eye out for a serious conflict or problem coming up very soon, before the next election at least. He has to get attention off the current events somehow and that has worked in the past with the help of the MSM. If obama sees things are getting close there could be one of many possibilities come up. In any case the coming crisis is going to be life changing. Why do I think such a thing? The past five plus years should explain that very throughly.

  • Jack Everett

    Is that taking place after happy hour or before with alcoholic Bohener it’s hard to tell.

  • Bob Viering

    It should be obvious what is going on. This isn’t about Obama at all. The Republicans have seen poll after poll that shows Hillary Clinton beats all their potential candidates. This is about smearing her ahead of the 2016 elections.

    Mark my words, there will be an endless number of Benghazi “investigations” between now and 2016. Wrecking Hillary Clinton’s reputation is Republicans only hope of gaining the WH in 2016.

    Benghazi will be like Whitewater, millions in costs, lots of empty allegations and in the end nothing.

    • betsym

      This has been the GOP’s MO for so many years I can’t possibly remember them all. They waste more money then I can possibly ever imagine. Now we have Issa again (who is a crook in his own right) trying desperately to unveil something that will discredit Obama and Clinton. He’s the most disgusting rep in the House.

  • Jack Everett

    Couldn’t be a bigger waste of money and time than this. Bohener just wants to go out in a blaze of glory.

  • Wuthie

    I thought the Republicans wanted to create jobs. So far they spend millions of dollars on repealing the ACA and that the Obama Adm didn’t tell the truth. AS IF EVERY REPUBLICAN NEVER TOLD A LIE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

    Politician is a politically correct way to call someone a liar. They all lie get over it. create some legislation that will create some jobs.

  • Greenie Beanie

    In this YouTube video we have the Liar-in-Chief, Hussein Obama, claiming that he will magically stop the oceans from rising:

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