Kerry decries Benghazi subpoena as partisan

 

Secretary of State John Kerry indicated Tuesday that he may cooperate with a subpoena to testify on Benghazi issued by House Oversight Committee Chairman Darryl Issa (R-Calif.).

"I’ll comply with whatever responsibilities we have," Kerry said when asked at a press conference if he will testify.

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Kerry is currently slated to be in Mexico on May 21, the date Issa has set for his testimony.

Kerry said that there are some questions about what committee will have jurisdiction. This week, the House is set to vote on a setting up a select committee to probe Benghazi.

He said that when he was a Senate committee chairman, he had never issued a subpoena to an official without first asking if the official could come to testify.

"I think it sort of speaks for itself, frankly," Kerry said of the subpoena.

The secretary of State said that his department has been cooperating fully with congressional investigations into the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that resulted in four American deaths.

New emails, released as the result of a Freedom of Information Act inquiry, show White House adviser Ben Rhodes coaching then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice on how to answer questions on Sunday talk shows. Republicans say the talking points email is part of an attempt by the Obama administration to cover up the terrorist nature of the attack.

"Documents require a legal examination," Kerry said in explaining why the emails only came out this month.

"You see a very partisan response on the Hill," he added.