Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, on Sunday said an interim report examining the chaotic withdrawal by the United States from Afghanistan showed how the White House and State Department “put their head in the sand” about warnings against the pullout.
In an interview on CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” McCaul said there “was no failure on the intelligence side ... they got it right.”
“The problem was the White House and State Department putting their head in the sand, not wanting to believe what they were saying, and therefore not adequately planning,” he said.
“The women left behind is the worst of this entire story,” he added.
“One-hundred thousand Afghan partners left behind — remember what we said, ‘Ee will protect you.’ That was our promise to them, no one left behind, and we left them behind to the mercy of the Taliban, and now they're being tortured and killed.”
The Hill, which viewed the damning 118-page interim report titled “A Strategic Failure’: Assessing the Administration’s Afghanistan Withdrawal,” said it will be published this week.
But the ranking committee member, McCaul, and other Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee are telegraphing plans to exercise intense scrutiny, and possible subpoenas, if the GOP clinches the majority in Congress in 2022, The Hill reported.
They also intend to subpoena documents that they say the State Department has failed to provide, including “documents, messages, reports, legal opinions, meeting readouts, and other materials related to the withdrawal from Afghanistan,” The Hill reported.
“The Biden administration’s, and specifically the State Department’s, refusal to provide Congress with the necessary information regarding America’s unconditional withdrawal from Afghanistan has hampered the minority committee’s ability to complete a thorough investigation,” the report states, The Hill reported.
According to the news outlet, the report primarily focuses on a lack of planning leading up to the withdrawal and analyzes a series of missteps and errors that complicated what was ultimately a deadly evacuation.
“The Biden administration had largely wasted the four months since the president announced the full withdrawal, failing to adequately plan for the anticipated Taliban takeover,” the committee wrote.
“The failure to anticipate a surge of refugees at the Kabul airport, often referred to as Hamid Karzai International Airport, despite the military assessing Kabul to be at risk of falling to the Taliban, combined with an inadequate number of U.S. personnel initially deployed, created the powder keg that exploded with the chaotic scenes that reverberated around the world, including images of Afghans falling to their deaths,” the lawmakers wrote.
In his "Face The Nation" interview, McCaul also called the FBI’s Aug. 8 Mar-a-Lago raid “an extraordinary case.”
“We've never had a former president of the United States served with a search warrant,” he said. “There was a subpoena, the court could have enforced the subpoena. That should have been a last-stage process … The affidavit in support of the warrant will give you the probable cause to try to understand what is going on here, and I think the American people deserve this …the Gang of 8 should have been briefed. And I believe that the relevant committees on the Hill should have access to the documents but most importantly, this affidavit.”
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