House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) issued two subpoenas to the State Department today, seeking documents related to the Benghazi attack and subsequent Accountability Review Board process.
The State Department’s internal investigation into the Sept. 11, 2012, attack is under extra scrutiny since witnesses have told the committee that they were never asked about issues cited in the ARB report as reason to pin the blame for the attack response on four department officials who were then placed on leave.
“After ignoring requests for months, the State Department has left no alternative but to issue subpoenas for documents relevant to our investigation,” said Issa. “State Department tactics to delay and impede accountability have exhausted the Committee’s patience. Further subpoenas may also be necessary if the Department is not forthcoming on other requests.”
Issa sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday asking why no status decision had been made on those four employees yet.
“The Committee has certainly taken notice that while the Department hesitates to reach final determinations on the status of the four officials identified by the ARB, other officials with similar degrees of responsibility for security in Benghazi and the Department’s flawed response to the attacks have been promoted. For example, Elizabeth Dibble was promoted to be the Deputy Chief of Mission in London. Victoria Nuland was promoted to be the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of European Affairs,” Issa wrote.
“These promotions—which occurred while the employment status of the officials faulted by the ARB remains in limbo—create the appearance that former Secretary Hillary Clinton’s decision to announce action against the individuals named in the ARB report was more of a public relations strategy than a measured response to a tragedy.”