US House Foreign Affairs Committee set to subpoena Blinken over Afghanistan withdrawal

US House Republicans are to subpoena Secretary of State Antony Blinken for classified cables related to the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan to force the release of sensitive documents to Congress.

According to AP, the subpoena is to be issued on Tuesday by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, comes after months of requests by Republicans for documents related to the withdrawal, which they have called a “stunning failure of leadership.”

The subpoena demands that Blinken turn over the classified cables by April 5. The cables are believed to contain critical information about the withdrawal, including warnings from U.S. diplomats about the potential fall of Kabul.

“We have made multiple good faith attempts to find common ground so we could see this critical piece of information,” McCaul said in a statement. “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.”

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The Biden administration has said it is willing to cooperate with Congress on the withdrawal, but it has resisted calls to release the classified cables.

“The Department is prepared to discuss a path that would communicate to you the circumstances and substance of the requested cable exchange, as an extraordinary accommodation,” a State Department letter to McCaul said last week. “The Department trusts that this accommodation will address the Committee’s request for information while preserving the confidential nature of the Dissent Channel.”

The effort to force the release of the cable is the latest in a series by Republicans to hold the Biden administration accountable for the withdrawal.

Last month, the House voted to form a select committee to investigate the withdrawal. The committee is expected to hold its first hearing this week.

The withdrawal from Afghanistan has been widely criticized by Republicans and Democrats alike. The Biden administration has defended the decision, saying it was necessary to end the 20-year war.

The withdrawal has also been blamed for the chaotic evacuation of tens of thousands of Afghans and Americans from Kabul. The evacuation was marred by violence and confusion, and it left many Afghans behind.o