U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, Ed Schipul, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5

McCaul Sends Subpoenas to Biden’s Officials for Afghanistan Withdrawal Inquiry

US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul said he has issued subpoenas to President Joe Biden’s current and former officials to testify on the catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan.

In an interview with CNN on Sunday, McCaul stated that he has asked to conduct interviews with Jen Pskai, Biden’s former Press Secretary; John Kirby, current National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications who was Pentagon’s Press Secretary at the time of the withdrawal; and Ned Price, former Department of Defense Spokesperson.

McCaul and his Committee have requested each of these officials to present their transcribed interviews by September 18, 2023.

He also announced the subpoenas will “go all the way up the chain of command, both State, Department of Defense, and ultimately within the White House.”

The Committee is seeking to speak with Psaki to ask about the messages she was sending out from the White House at the time of the withdrawal, which McCaul said, was “so different from what was happening on the ground.”

As to John Kirby, McCaul indicated that he made the comment that no US weapons were left behind after withdrawal, which, he called “insane.” He mentioned that he wanted his panel to speak with Kibry about “$7 billion of weapons” left behind.

Regarding Ned Price, McCaul said that he was making “rosy comments” while at the State Department.

“We sent letters to have them testify all giving a rosy picture, while at the same time what was happening on the ground was very different,” McCaul said. “I don’t know where this is going to end, but, as a former federal prosecutor, I’m going to follow all the facts.”

The Committee Chairman averred that it is crucial to hear from these officials who were acting as the “voice of the administration” during the “failed” withdrawal.

Biden’s handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal has been largely criticized.

General Frank McKenzie, the former head of the US Central Command (CENTCOM) who oversaw the withdrawal, called the basic withdrawal decision a “wrong decision.” He said history is going to view the pull-out decision as a “fatal flaw.”

McCaul called the Afghanistan exit a “mistake of epic proportions” and an “unconditional surrender to the Taliban.”

During the two-week evacuation in August 2021, the US and its allies managed to evacuate over 120,000 people from Kabul airport to safety, but tens of thousands of others were left behind, including those who had assisted the US over the past two decades.

On August 30, the last foreign troops were pulled out of Afghanistan, marking the end of the 20-year-long war, which the Taliban declared a “complete victory.”

A few days before the final exit, a suicide bombing at the Kabul airport claimed the lives of 170 civilians and 13 US military personnel. The Islamic State—Khorasan Province claimed responsibility for the attack.

McCaul told CNN that the families of the 13 US servicemen “deserve to get access” to those involved in the withdrawal.