House panel demands documents on State Department video edit

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has requested documents from the State Department regarding video edits to a 2013 press briefing on the Iran nuclear deal. 

The State Department earlier this week admitted that one of its officials deliberately ordered a video technician to delete portions of the Dec. 2, 2013, briefing that dealt with the Iran nuclear deal. 

{mosads}In the deleted portion, Fox News reporter James Rosen asked then-State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki about comments her predecessor made in February denying any secret bilateral talks with Iran had begun, when reports said they had. 

Psaki did not comment on whether her predecessor’s comments were false, but said, “I think there are times when diplomacy needs privacy in order to progress.” 

Fox News later discovered that portion of the briefing was deleted; the State Department initially blamed it on “a glitch.” On Wednesday, State Department press secretary John Kirby said the deletion was deliberate and inappropriate. 

Officials say they do not know who ordered the video to be deleted. 

Chaffetz is demanding answers by June 8, according to a letter he sent to Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday. 

Documents and communications he has requested include those sufficient to identify who made and received the request to edit the video; all those related to the deletion of the video; and any relating to other requests to delete portions of the press briefing since Jan. 1, 2012. 

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) has also demanded the State Department identify the official who ordered the video deletion. 

The State Department on Thursday said it hit a “dead end” in identifying the official, but said it was not sure if all phone records were checked, and acknowledged that the 300 employees in the Public Affairs Bureau — where the request originated — have not been interviewed. 

2016-06-02 JEC to Kerry – Rosen Video

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