In an unmistakably angry statement issued Friday, Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican chair of the House Oversight Committee, said Secretary of State John Kerry would no longer be required to appear before his committee next month to deliver testimony on the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.
Issa's three-paragraph statement on Kerry's release from testifying on June 12 accused the secretary of state of trying to "squirm" his way out of appearing before the committee. According to Issa, his decision reflected a desire to consolidate the Benghazi investigation to the new select committee established earlier this month. He said he only made the decision after seeing Kerry and other Democrats try to use his testimony as a way to drive a wedge between Issa's committee, which has led the investigation thus far, and the new select committee chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy.
"Seeing Secretary Kerry and others, who have worked to obstruct critical oversight of Congress’ investigations into Benghazi, attempt to use the upcoming June 12 hearing as a shield against the Select Committee tells me it’s time to reassess. It’s been disappointing to watch a long serving former Senator, like Secretary Kerry, squirm his way to what I’m doing today – releasing him from the upcoming hearing commitment he made only after we issued him a subpoena," Issa said in his statement.