July 13, 2024

Another Member of Biden’s Cabinet Is in Trouble With Lawmakers

More than two years since President Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, members of his cabinet are still refusing to turn over documents related to the deadly fiasco labeled a record-breaking success by the administration.

Now, it’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken who’s facing the ire of lawmakers for failing to be transparent with Congress as House Republicans seek accountability and the first-hand facts from the withdrawal in the hope of preventing similar disasters in the future.

In a letter Monday night, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) threatened to hold Sec. Blinken in contempt of Congress if the State Department continues withholding documents — specifically interview documents used to draft the administration’s “after-action review” of Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal.

That internal 90-day review, based on interviews following Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, found notable shortcomings and significant failures within the State Department’s role in the execution of America’s departure from Afghanistan after two decades. Notes and transcripts from those interviews contain first-hand accounts of the disaster as it unfolded and worsened — even while President Biden and his administration painted a rosy but false picture of the deteriorating situation. Still, Blinken refuses to turn them over to McCaul and the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Chairman McCaul’s five-page letter notes that 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,” and reminds Blinken that the Foreign Affairs Committee “has pursued the AAR team’s interview notes in good faith and with every effort to compromise.” McCaul underscores that though his efforts to obtain the notes, the State 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.”

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