McCaul requests interviews for Afghanistan withdrawal investigation

US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul has formally requested transcribed interviews for the committee’s investigation into the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.

McCaul is seeking interviews with five individuals who he believes possess crucial information regarding the events surrounding the withdrawal.

The requested interviews include Jonathan Mennuti, former acting chief of staff to Acting Under Secretary of State for Management Carol Perez; Mark Evans, former acting deputy assistant secretary for Afghanistan; James P. DeHart, former lead of Afghanistan Task Force; Jayne Howell from the Bureau of Consular Affairs; and former Ambassador Daniel Smith, who conducted the State Department’s after-action review of the withdrawal.

According to a press release on Sunday, McCaul stated, “Through our ongoing investigation, we have determined these five individuals have important information that is critical to uncovering how and why the Biden administration’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan resulted in the deaths of 13 U.S. service members and the injury of 47 more, and in the abandonment of more than a thousand U.S. citizens and hundreds of thousands of our Afghan partners in a country controlled by terrorists.”

“It is crucial they speak with the committee without delay. As we continue to gather evidence, the Committee will continue to interview additional current and former administration officials involved in the planning and execution of the withdrawal,” he added.

The committee has set a deadline of May 22 for the five officials to make contact and arrange their transcribed interviews.

A State Department spokesperson told Fox News that “We will continue to respond to appropriate oversight inquiries and provide Congress the information it needs to do its job while protecting the ability of State Department employees to do theirs. As a general matter, we do not discuss details of communications with Congress.”

| The people of Afghanistan are in for a ‘very difficult year ahead’ warns USAID chief
| US government refuses to submit Afghanistan withdrawal documents to congressional committee for a third time

This latest development comes after McCaul’s threat to hold Secretary of State Antony Blinken in contempt of Congress after failing to comply with a subpoena to turn over a July 2021 cable. McCaul wrote in the press release, “The Department is now in violation of its legal obligation to produce these documents and must do so immediately.”

McCaul also warned that if the State Department fails to produce the subpoenaed documents, he will “initiate a civil enforcement process if the department fails to produce the subpoenaed documents.”

In April, the White House took several hits from Republican lawmakers after issuing a long-awaited report on how the Biden administration handled the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The report defended President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan in 2021, calling it the “right thing for the country” while shifting blame onto the Trump administration. The report also stated the evacuation should have begun sooner.