Corker threatens to subpoena Kerry on Syria

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) is threatening to subpoena Secretary of State John Kerry to testify on Syria, according to Politico

“I don’t know what steps to take,” said Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Subpoenaing a secretary of State is certainly an extraordinary step and one that needs to be thought about.”

Corker expressed frustration that Kerry hasn’t responded to lawmakers concerns about Syria, as Russia begins military operations in the country and amid a massive refugee crisis and growing criticism of the administration’s efforts to arm rebel groups.

{mosads}”I don’t know what to do when you have the biggest crisis – people flooding into Europe [and] 100 percent change taking place on the ground,” Corker said.

He accused the State Department of stonewalling his efforts to have Kerry testify before Congress on Syria’s civil war.

“We heard this week that he was out of town, but I know that not to be true,” Corker said. “I know he’s meeting with people today at the State Department.

“[He] won’t return phone calls and underlings have been suggested to come up and talk with us,” he continued. “For the secretary of State to be unwilling to come here, I find very problematic – especially with committee like ours that has worked with the administration in the manner that we all have in a very bipartisan way.”

Corker is suggesting that Kerry address his committee next week during the Senate’s scheduled recess, according to Politico.

The subpoena threat comes the same day as reports that Congress is probing the nation’s intelligence agencies in the wake of Russia’s recent military escalation in Syria.

Intelligence committees in both the House and Senate are examining whether the U.S. had blind spots that prevented them from anticipating Russia’s actions.

Russia has launched air strikes in Syria, claiming they are targeting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. But the U.S. and allies say the strikes are intended to bolster Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and are hitting other rebel groups seeking his ouster.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has long support the Syrian regime despite the Obama administration’s calls for Assad to relinquish power.

Syria’s civil war has raged since 2011. The conflict has been complicated by the rise of ISIS which has seized large swathes of the country.

Tags Barack Obama Bashar al-Assad Bob Corker Civil War D.C. D.C. Diplomacy Foreign policy international affairs investigations ISIS Islamic State in Iraq and Syria John Kerry Moscow Politics Republicans Russia State Department Syria Tennessee Terrorism United States Vladimir Putin Washington Washington world news
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