Blinken may be slapped with subpoena after refusing GOP request to open books on Afghanistan
Secretary of State Antony Blinken could be served a subpoena on Monday if he doesn’t turn over classified documents about the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said.
‘It’s extraordinary to have 23 embassy employees dissenting to the policy of the secretary of State and the White House,’ Rep. Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican, told ‘Fox News Sunday’ host Shannon Bream.
‘We want to know – and the American people deserve to know, and the veterans and the Gold Star mothers deserve to know – what were in those dissenting cables.’
Last week during a hearing on the State Department budget, McCaul gave Blinken a Monday deadline to provide the committee a dissent cable authored by at least 23 diplomats stationed the U.S. embassy Kabul in July 2021. The cable warned about how security in Afghanistan was deteriorating before the U.S. withdrawal at the end of August 2021.
The document was sent through a ‘dissent channel,’ which allows State Department officials to send warnings to senior officials.
‘We need this dissent cable, and I think the American people deserve to see it, to know what in the world was going on in those critical weeks,’ McCaul told Blinken last week during the hearing. ‘I have the subpoena. It’s right here, and I’m prepared to serve this.’
McCaul told Bream on Sunday that he is sticking with his plan to serve the subpoena if he does not receive such documents.
‘If they don’t deliver by Monday, close of business, I will serve that subpoena,’ McCaul said.
Blinken said at the hearing last week that the State Department will not release a copy of the cable in order to protect the dissent channel.
‘It is vital to me that we preserve the integrity of that process and of that channel, that we not take any steps that could have a chilling effect on the willingness of others to come forward in the future, to express dissenting views on the policies that are being pursued,’ Blinken said.
McCaul said Sunday the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, which left 13 U.S. service members dead, was a ‘turning point’ for America’s ‘projection of weakness’ on the world stage, pointing specifically to how China and Russia interpreted the withdrawal.
‘When Afghanistan imploded, that is the turning point. That is when Putin… looked at Ukraine, and Xi’s looking at Taiwan. That’s when everything changed. Afghanistan was a turning point. It was a disaster. We left Americans behind, Afghanistan partners behind,’ he said.
The State Department did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on McCaul’s comments Sunday.