Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) shredded Darrell Issa’s Benghazi subpoena of Sec. of State John Kerry by calling it a publicity stunt.
In a press release describing the subpoena of Secretary of State Kerry, Rep. Issa (R-CA) said, “The State Department’s response to the congressional investigation of the Benghazi attack has shown a disturbing disregard for the Department’s legal obligations to Congress. Compliance with a subpoena for documents is not a game. Because your Department is failing to meet its legal obligations, I am issuing a new subpoena to compel you to appear before the Committee to answer questions about your agency’s response to the congressional investigation of the Benghazi attack.” (Holding bogus hearings and launching expensive investigations at taxpayer expense also isn’t a game, but Issa seems to have no issues with that.)
Ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) took Issa apart.
In a statement, Rep. Cummings described Issa’s efforts to circumvent the investigative process:
Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell E. Issa took the unprecedented step of issuing a unilateral subpoena demanding that a sitting cabinet Secretary testify before the Oversight Committee—in just over two weeks—and accusing him of a crime. Chairman Issa did not first send a letter making his request, he did not call to determine if the Secretary would be in the country, and he did not hold a Committee vote on his subpoena.
In response to Issa’s subpoena, the Committee’s Ranking Member, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, stated: “These actions are not a responsible approach to congressional oversight, they continue a trend of generating unnecessary conflict for the sake of publicity, and they are shockingly disrespectful to the Secretary of State.”
Issa has disrespected President Obama on a regular basis, so his disrespect of Sec. Kerry is no surprise. Rep. Cummings was correct. This whole contrived Benghazi push is nothing but a desperate publicity stunt. In March, Issa turned off Cummings’ microphone, and fled the room when a show hearing on the IRS blew up in his face. Issa has consistently claimed with no supporting evidence that President Obama is behind the IRS scandal.
Republicans are already disappointed that the mainstream press isn’t falling for their latest attempt to convert a bogus conspiracy theory into a mainstream news story. Republicans are following the exact same playbook that the Clinton administration described in a memo nearly 20 years ago.
They can’t run on Obamacare. They can’t run on the economy. Republicans have no legislative record of accomplishments. They have been reduced to trying to create their own issue to run on in November. Democrats know the game, and they aren’t about to let Issa get away with this stunt.
Issa has abused his power from the moment that he became chairman of the House Oversight Committee. He is wasting taxpayer money and precious resources with publicity stunts and witchhunts. It’s time for Darrell Issa to go.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association