Comes after months of alleged stonewalling by DOD.
A top Pentagon official, who Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. charged may have misled the House Select Committee on Benghazi, has now been subpoenaed to testify.
The issue in question centers on the committee’s request to the Pentagon in February seeking the identity of “John from Iowa.” The Air Force service member called into Sean Hannity’s radio program in 2013, stating he had been a drone operator the night of the Sept. 11, 2012 Benghazi attacks.
The man told Hannity it was clear from what he was seeing that there was no way the attacks were the result of a spontaneous uprising because of an internet video, which both U.N. ambassador Susan Rice and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed.
The serviceman added that he had not been contacted to testify before Congress during its investigation, which surprised him. “There would be only about six of us from the base out of which that I operate at that would’ve been involved on that specific mission that night, and so it should be really easy to track us down,” he said.
The Senate and the House conducted hearings on the Benghazi attacks in 2013.
In late April of this year, Assistant Secretary of Defense Stephen Hedger wrote a letter to Gowdy stating that the department “has expended significant resources to locate anyone who might match the description of [John from Iowa], to no avail,” Politico reported.
“Based on this drone sensor operator’s testimony to the committee Thursday, it now appears the Department had knowledge well in advance of who and where John was,” Gowdy said in a statement Friday.
According to a Benghazi Committee press release on Thursday, “During his testimony today, this drone sensor operator confirmed details the committee learned at the same time DOD was claiming it was ‘expend[ing] significant resources to locate’ him – the Air Force knew exactly who had called into the talk radio show in 2013. In other words, John’s testimony raises serious questions with respect to the representations made by a Pentagon political appointee.”
“Mr. Hedger will now have the opportunity to detail exactly what ‘resources’ he ‘expended’ and how. I look forward to him explaining the serious questions that have arisen with respect to this matter, including whether they are related to incompetence or deliberate concealment of the witness from a congressional inquiry,” Gowdy said.