The Benghazi emails released by the White House two weeks ago were reminiscent of Richard Nixon standing in front of the just released redacted transcripts of the White House tapes. With each case the White House was bragging about how forthcoming they were being, each had damaging information despite the spin, and each only whet America's appetites for more
To fill in the holes of omission pointed out by the released Benghazi emails Rep. Darrell Issa issued subpoenas today for additional State Department emails and other communications on the Benghazi terror attack.
Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, claimed in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry that the department is still "withholding documents."
"The State Department has not lived up to the administration's broad and unambiguous promises of cooperation with Congress. Therefore, I am left with no alternative but to compel the State Department to produce relevant documents through a subpoena," Issa wrote to Kerry.
State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said Tuesday that the department "remains committed to working cooperatively with the Congress" and would "take stock" of any requests for information -- but noted that the department has provided thousands of pages of documents.
"We have demonstrated an unprecedented degree of cooperation with the Congress on the issue of Benghazi, engaging in over 30 hearings and briefings for members and staff, and sharing over 25,000 pages of documents with committees," he said. "All of us -- in the administration, in the Congress, in the media -- we should all be focused on the issue of protecting the American diplomats and development experts who are working every day to advance America's national interest and global leadership."
The other question not answered by the document dump of two weeks ago is who decided to use the "cock and bull" story about the internet video. While the early talking points written by the CIA talked about the protests in Egypt, there was no mention of the video.
Issa's subpena includes documents and communications of ten different state department officials including Victoria Nuland who, in the emails released earlier this month, could be seen pressing other agencies to remove references to prior attacks and security warnings in Benghazi and the references to Islamic extremists.
Issa wrote that her comments suggest "that she did not raise these concerns in a vacuum," noting specifically that Nuland said some of the changes did not "resolve all my issues or those of my building leadership."For those of you suggesting that the Benghazi affair would fade away, the investigation may be just starting.
Issa wrote: "The documents the enclosed subpoena covers will help the Committee understand why, although on the day after the attacks senior State Department leadership believed that Islamic extremists were involved, there were reservations about publicly acknowledging any such involvement just three days later. This issue is at the heart of the Committee's ongoing investigation."