Kerry agrees to testify on Benghazi attack

Posted at 9:32 PM, May 23, 2014

(CNN) — Secretary of State John Kerry has agreed to testify before the House Oversight Committee on the deadly Benghazi terror attack, according to a letter from his office to the panel that was obtained by CNN.

Kerry was subpoenaed by Oversight panel Chairman Darrell Issa of California after new emails surfaced that Republicans say support their contention the Obama administration politicized its public response to the September 2012 assault.

The attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in eastern Libya killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

It’s not clear whether the recent formation of a House Select Committee to investigate Benghazi will impact the Oversight probe. The Republican-led Select Committee is still organizing and hasn’t scheduled any hearings.

According to the letter to Issa that was copied to top members of the Select Committee as well, the State Department said Kerry could not accommodate the Oversight panel’s demand that he appear on May 29 due to scheduling conflicts.

However, the letter said Kerry was “prepared to appear” at a later hearing, which the panel has now set for June 12.

“The committee looks forward to his appearance,” Frederick Hill, a spokesman for the panel, said in a statement.

Additionally, the State Department believes that an appearance before Issa’s committee next month would “remove any need” for him to testify before the Select Committee to “answer additional questions.”