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Tags: michael mccaul | antony blinken | contempt | afghan | files

Blinken Threatened With Contempt Over Afghan Docs

By    |   Tuesday, 27 February 2024 12:30 PM EST

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, vowed to hold Secretary of State Antony Blinken in contempt of Congress if he does not produce review documents relating to the Biden administration's "catastrophic withdrawal" from Afghanistan.

In a letter Monday, McCaul told Blinken his "patience is exhausted" over his yearlong pursuit of the administration's internal After-Action Review (AAR) analysis that detailed the "significant failures" of the U.S. military pullout from Afghanistan in August 2021, resulting in the death of 13 U.S. service members in a suicide bombing at the Kabul airport.

McCaul wrote "these interview documents are vital to the committee's quest for the truth and related legislative reform efforts." Further, McCaul asserted that the notes "are being withheld by the White House and National Security Council."

McCaul gave Blinken until March 6 or face contempt of Congress.

"The law does not afford the State Department blanket authority to hide behind 'Executive Branch confidentiality interests' to obstruct Congress's access to the truth," McCaul wrote in the five-page letter. "The Committee has pursued the AAR team's interview notes in good faith and with every effort to compromise. The Department has not negotiated in good faith and has failed to both comply with the Committee's July 2023 subpoena and fulfill your August 11 personal commitment to cooperate with this investigation."

The State Department in June released 24 pages of its 85-page AAR, leaving the rest classified. The AAR found that the State Department failed to adequately plan before the collapse of the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan, blaming the Biden and Donald Trump administrations.

McCaul is pursuing the interview notes that were compiled by former Ambassador Dan Smith, who was tasked by Blinken to lead the AAR.

Smith testified before the panel on Aug. 31 that "he and his team 'took notes on the interviews,' which took the form of "memorand[a] of conversation." Ambassador Smith confirmed those notes would be 'in the custody of the State Department,'" McCaul wrote.

McCaul is tired of asking for those notes.

"It is appalling that over two years after the deadly and chaotic withdrawal, the Department continues to choose politics over policy," he wrote.

Mark Swanson

Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, vowed to hold Secretary of State Antony Blinken in contempt of Congress if he does not produce review documents relating to the Biden administration's "catastrophic withdrawal" from Afghanistan.
michael mccaul, antony blinken, contempt, afghan, files
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2024-30-27
Tuesday, 27 February 2024 12:30 PM
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