- The Washington Times - Friday, May 2, 2014

The House has subpoenaed Secretary of State John F. Kerry to force him to answer questions about how his department has handled questions about the Benghazi terrorist attack.

Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the Oversight Committee that has been investigating the attacks, sent a letter demanding Mr. Kerry appear and testify on May 21. He said the State Department has “shown a disturbing disregard” for its legal obligations to Congress.

“Compliance with a subpoena for documents is not a game,” Mr. Issa said in issuing a subpoena, which gives Mr. Kerry no choice but to appear. He could have issued an invitation, which would have given the secretary more leeway, but the subpoena raises the issue to a higher level.

The letter comes after the White House has struggled to explain why the administration didn’t turn over a document showing a top national security aide to President Obama coaching others on how to respond to questions in the wake of the Benghazi attacks. The aide urges that the focus be placed on an anti-Islam video — though both defense and intelligence community sources at the time had already disregarded the video as the reason for the attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi.

Mr. Issa said he had subpoenaed records that should have included that email, but the administration didn’t turn it over until forced to do so in a court challenge brought by Judicial Watch.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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