House GOP Subpoenas Blinken for Key Documents on Afghanistan Withdrawal

House GOP Subpoenas Blinken for Key Documents on Afghanistan Withdrawal
House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas) questions Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington on April 28, 2022. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The House Foreign Affairs Committee has signed a subpoena for Secretary of State Antony Blinken to obtain a July 2021 Dissent Channel cable and the Secretary’s response.

Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) requested the cable that is believed to have warned the administration of a lack of proper preparation for President Joe Biden’s unilateral decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan, according to the Foreign Affairs Committee’s March 27 press release on the subpoena.

The July 2021 Dissent Channel cable was written by 23 State Department officials working in the Kabul Embassy.

According to the committee, despite McCaul offering to review the document on camera and the State Department being allowed to redact the names of signatories to protect their privacy, they refused to provide the documents.

“This committee is empowered by the U.S. Constitution to conduct oversight of the State Department,” said McCaul.

“We have made multiple good faith attempts to find common ground so we could see this critical piece of information. Unfortunately, Secretary Blinken has refused to provide the Dissent Cable and his response to the cable, forcing me to issue my first subpoena as chairman of this committee.”

The committee asserts that this cable and Blinken’s response are crucial documents as they reveal what information State Department employees who were on the ground provided to Blinken about a month prior to the evacuation, as well as the secretary’s response.

The cable was first requested in August 2021 by then-Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) and separately by then-Ranking Member McCaul. Chairman McCaul reiterated that request on Jan. 12, 2023, and again on Jan. 30.

McCaul sent a letter (pdf) to Blinken on March 20, following up on previous requests and emphasizing the need for the State Department to produce the records regarding the Biden administration’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.

McCaul asked that the State Department send at least three documents by March 22 in response to a query from the department to identify the materials deemed most significant to the committee’s oversight responsibilities.

The exploration for records coincides with Blinken’s scheduled appearance before the committee on March 23 to discuss Biden’s 2024 budget plan.

The chairman went on in the press release on the subpoena, “The American people deserve answers as to how this tragedy unfolded, and why 13 U.S. servicemembers lost their lives. We expect the State Department to follow the law and comply with this subpoena in good faith.”

The State Department did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.

From The Epoch Times