Home US Top Republican Michael McCaul reignites THREAT to hold Antony Blinken in contempt of Congress for ‘appalling obstruction’ as he seeks accountability for deadly Afghanistan withdrawal 2+ years later

Top Republican Michael McCaul reignites THREAT to hold Antony Blinken in contempt of Congress for ‘appalling obstruction’ as he seeks accountability for deadly Afghanistan withdrawal 2+ years later

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Last July, the State Department quietly released an 87-page report condemning its administration's failure to prepare for Afghanistan's rapid collapse at the hands of the Taliban in 2021.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is again in the hot water as House Republicans seek documents that could provide answers about the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan nearly two and a half years later.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, is reviving his earlier threats to take legal action against Blinken, saying he has “stonewalled” many requests for congressional documents.

“It is appalling that more than two years after the deadly and chaotic withdrawal, the Department continues to choose politics over politics,” McCaul wrote in a letter obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com on Monday.

He says his committee will “pursue” him for contempt of Congress if he doesn’t provide the AAR (after action review) team’s interview notes by March 6.

The GOP chair is specifically demanding AAR files from those most intimately involved in the chaotic retreat that will help Republicans complete their investigation and shape legislation to prevent “catastrophic mistakes” from happening again by providing “access to the TRUE”.

If McCaul makes good on his threat, it will be the first time in US history that a secretary of state has been charged with contempt of Congress.

Last July, the State Department quietly released an 87-page report condemning its administration's failure to prepare for Afghanistan's rapid collapse at the hands of the Taliban in 2021.

Last July, the State Department quietly released an 87-page report condemning its administration’s failure to prepare for Afghanistan’s rapid collapse at the hands of the Taliban in 2021.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul is reviving his earlier threats to take legal action against Blinken after he “stonewalled” congressional requests for documents.

The Americans killed in the explosion were: (from left to right, starting with the top row) Cpl. Daegan W. Page – Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo - Sergeant. Darin T. Hoover - Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza - Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum - Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui - Corporal. Hunter Lopez - Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz – Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss - Corporal. Humberto A. Sánchez - Navy Doctor Maxton W. Soviak - Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola – Sgt. Nicole L. Gee

The Americans killed in the explosion were: (from left to right, starting with the top row) Cpl. Daegan W. Page – Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo - Sergeant. Darin T. Hoover - Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza - Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum - Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui - Corporal. Hunter Lopez - Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz – Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss - Corporal. Humberto A. Sánchez - Navy Doctor Maxton W. Soviak - Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola – Sgt. Nicole L. Gee

The Americans killed in the explosion were: (from left to right, starting with the top row) Cpl. Daegan W. Page – Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo – Sergeant. Darin T. Hoover – Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza – Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum – Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui – Corporal. Hunter Lopez – Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz – Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss – Corporal. Humberto A. Sánchez – Navy Doctor Maxton W. Soviak – Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola – Sgt. Nicole L. Gee

McCaul says his committee has followed the AAR team’s interview notes “in good faith and with every effort to reach an agreement.”

But, it continues, the department “has not negotiated in good faith and has not complied with the Committee’s July 2023 subpoena or its personal August 11 commitment to cooperate with this investigation.”

Once again, he highlighted the “legislative need for these primary source documents.”

McCaul writes that department officials told his committee that Undersecretary for Management and Resources Rich Verma “personally reviewed” the AAR notes.

But he said they are currently being held by the White House and the National Security Council.

“Officials have communicated that this decision is now above their ‘pay grade,'” he said in the letter obtained by DailyMail.com.

Republicans are still working to hold the Biden administration accountable after the hasty exit from Afghanistan in 2021, during which 13 US service members and at least 170 Afghans died.

Additionally, relatives of the 13 dead American soldiers continue to demand answers, as no Biden administration official has taken blame for the horrors that unfolded during the withdrawal.

McCaul says the documents are necessary to “prevent catastrophic recall mistakes from happening again.”

The back-and-forth between McCaul and the State Department has gone on for months.

McCaul first subpoenaed the department on July 18 to obtain the AAR documents.

He described the department’s response to that subpoena as “anemic” and unacceptable.

McCaul and Blinken spoke by phone on August 11, and the secretary promised to “personally” provide the president with the information he seeks.

But now, “the committee’s patience has run out,” McCaul continues in the letter.

Last year, the committee postponed charging Blinken with contempt of Congress on a separate issue, after he agreed to let committee leaders view a classified dissenting cable that U.S. State Department employees sent before the Taliban takeover of Kabul on July 13, 2021.

The cable warned of a “deterioration” of the security situation and urged the immediate evacuation of allies, a warning the Biden administration failed to heed, Republicans say.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul is reviving his previous threats to take legal action against Blinken.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul is reviving his previous threats to take legal action against Blinken.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul is reviving his previous threats to take legal action against Blinken.

The committee had requested that Naz Durakoglu, deputy secretary of the Office of Legislative Affairs, and Richard Visek, of the Office of General Counsel, attend transcribed interviews.

Last July, the State Department quietly released an 87-page report condemning its administration’s failure to prepare for Afghanistan’s rapid collapse at the hands of the Taliban in 2021.

The investigation found serious shortcomings in leadership and questions about who was in charge before and during the chaos.

‘The decisions by both President Trump and President Biden to end the US military mission in Afghanistan had serious consequences for the viability of the Afghan government and its security,’ the report says.

“Those decisions are beyond the scope of this review, but the (review) team found that during both administrations there was not enough high-level consideration of worst-case scenarios and how quickly they could occur.”

He also described several strategic failures when the Taliban invaded cities, saying not enough attention was paid to “worst-case scenarios.”

As a result, thousands of allies who helped the United States in the war were left behind and there was chaos at Hamid Karzai International Airport as men, women and children desperately tried to flee.

Although planning for the Kabul evacuation began “some time” earlier, the State Department was “hampered by the fact that it was unclear who in the Department had the initiative.”

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