Kerry Spokesperson: Boss in Mexico on Day of Issa Hearing

Kerry (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Secretary of State John Kerry will be on a previously scheduled trip to Mexico on May 21, the day he's been subpoenaed to appear before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to testify on Benghazi, a State Department spokeswoman said Monday.  

Deputy spokesperson Marie Harf said Kerry, who has been overseas, is aware of the subpoena, announced Friday by Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif.  

"As we've said repeatedly, we were all surprised, quite frankly, that instead of working with us and reaching out to us and offering first an invitation to testify, that Chairman Issa jumped immediately to subpoenaing the secretary," Harf said.  

"He does still plan to be in Mexico on the 21st. We've had that travel planned," she said.  

The subpoena came after the release of White House emails that show White House adviser Ben Rhodes telling then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice she should emphasize the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi, Libya, was “rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.” House Speaker John A. Boehner on Monday named Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., to head a special select committee that will focus solely on the administration's handling of the Benghazi attack.  

Related: Boehner Picks Gowdy for Benghazi Special Committee  Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi: Pelosi Dismisses Email as GOP ‘Subterfuge’ As Midterms Approach, House GOP Puts Spotlight Back on IRS, Benghazi 

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