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Issa Rescinds Request for Kerry Benghazi Testimony

Image: Darrell Issa
House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., calls on his panel to find former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for her previous refusal to answer questions at two hearings probing on whether tea party and conservative political groups had been targeted for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status, Thursday, April 10, 2014, on Capitol Hill in Washington. J. Scott Applewhite / AP

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The Republican chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Friday released Secretary of State John Kerry from testifying before his panel on the Benghazi attack, saying Kerry was using next month’s appearance to “shield” him from appearing before a newly formed select committee.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said in statement that Kerry had obstructed Congress’ investigation into the 2012 attack and his “attempt to use the upcoming June 12 hearing as a shield against the select committee tells me it's time to reassess.”

Issa subpoenaed Kerry to appear in front of his committee as Congressional Republicans spearheaded an effort to form a separate panel to investigate the 2012 attacks that killed four Americans.

Kerry agreed to appear, but State Department officials said his testimony would remove the need for him to appear before the select committee.

“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.

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