Issa subpoenas 4 State Department officials on Benghazi

Rep. Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, is not finished with his investigation into events surrounding the Benghazi scandal. He has issued subpoenas to 4 officials in the State Department who may have direct knowledge of events and that the department has refused to allow to testify.

The Hill:

In a sharply worded letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, Issa wrote that State chief of staff David Wade has been uncooperative since being first approached in mid-May with the request to make 13 State Department personnel available for depositions.

"I am concerned that waiting weeks or months while the Department prepares witnesses to be interviewed creates the risk that their testimony will have been rehearsed or coached," Issa wrote. "The Department has left me with no alternative but to issue subpoenas to compel testimony from these important witnesses."

The witnesses work in two bureaus that were singled out for criticism in the department's independent audit of security lapses at the U.S. mission.

The newly deposed individuals are Eric Boswell, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security's former assistant secretary and its former principal deputy assistant secretary; Scott Bultrowicz, the director of the Diplomatic Security Service; and Elizabeth Dibble and Elizabeth Jones, the former principal deputy assistant secretary and the acting assistant secretary at the Bureau Near Eastern Affairs, respectively.

Issa has already deposed the two co-authors of last year's Accountability Review Board (ARB) investigation into the attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. 

Boswell resigned from his position after the ARB faulted "systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies" in the two bureaus but remains with the department. 

The State Department has already been dragging its heels in answering questions from Issa so it's not surprising that they would take their own sweet time in responding to his request for witnesses. It seems that the 4 individuals would have a pretty good idea of how our diplomatic outpost was left virtually defenseless, so State could hardly claim that this is some kind of fishing expedition by Issa.

Hearings featuring the witnesses subpoened have not been scheduled yet.