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Kerry to testify on alternative date on attack in Benghazi

| Monday, May 12, 2014, 8:03 p.m.

WASHINGTON — The State Department and a House panel are working on an alternative date for Secretary of State John Kerry to testify about information related to the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, ending the immediate threat of a subpoena for a member of President Obama's Cabinet.

Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, had subpoenaed Kerry to testify on May 21 about the administration's response in providing emails and other documents to the panel investigating the Sept. 11, 2012, attack. Kerry is scheduled to travel to Mexico next week.

“The State Department has told the Committee that they are committed to finding an alternative date in the near future for Secretary Kerry to testify before the Oversight Committee,” Frederick Hill, a spokesman for the panel, said on Monday. “As such, Chairman Issa agreed to lift the subpoena obligation for May 21.”

The Oversight Committee is pressing ahead with its investigation even as the House established a new select committee to conduct an inquiry into the assault that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

In the Senate on Monday, Democrats blocked a Republican push for a joint House-Senate investigation.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, sought support for the Senate to participate in the inquiry. Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey objected, saying the probe is politically motivated and without merit.

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