House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) issued a subpoena Friday for Secretary of State John Kerry to testify before his panel on May 21 over Benghazi.
The GOP oversight chief and his committee announced the move on Twitter.
— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) May 2, 2014
Issa made no suggestion that Kerry — who was a senator during the 2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi — was guilty of wrongdoing.
“State Dept’s response to congressional investigation of #Benghazi has shown a disturbing disregard for its legal obligations to Congress,” the GOP chairman wrote on Twitter.
He continued, deploying the hashtag #Benghazi in a series of follow-up tweets: “Compliance with a subpoena for documents is not a game. The State Dept has failed to meet its legal obligations. … Secretary Kerry must answer questions about the State Dept’s response to the congressional investigation. Yesterday, BGen Lovell testified that the State Dept never asked military forces to go save Americans in #Benghazi during the attack.”
Read the letter Issa sent to Kerry informing him of the subpoena here.
Issa’s move didn’t sit well with House Oversight Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD). “These actions are not a responsible approach to congressional oversight, they continue a trend of generating unnecessary conflict for the sake of publicity, and they are shockingly disrespectful to the Secretary of State,” Cummings said in a statement.
On Thursday, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) said there was “no evidence” for the claim by Brig. Gen. Robert Lovell that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered the Defense Department to stand down rather than help the Americans in response to the Benghazi attacks.
Issa has made the same accusation about Clinton, earlier in February and again Friday. It appears to be the basis for his latest investigation.
This article has been updated.