(USNewsMag.com) – After ignoring subpoenas from the House Oversight Committee that requested documents related to the withdrawal from Afghanistan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken could face a charge of contempt of Congress.
The House Oversight Committee is seeking to access a July 2021 dissent report from before President Joe Biden’s withdrawal plan began. The report, from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, could detail any concerts U.S. officials had with Biden’s plan.
Blinken and the State Department have missed multiple deadlines recently, according to House Oversight Chairman and Texas Rep. Michael McCaul. The original deadline was March, but McCaul had the deadline pushed back to April. The last missed deadline was May 1. Once again, Blinken refused to provide the requested documents.
Instead of complying with the subpoena, the State Department offered to give McCaul and the House Oversight Committee a briefing on the contents of the documents. McCaul accepted the briefing. In April, McCaul also clarified that the briefing did not qualify as complying with the subpoena. After the briefing, the committee stated it needed to see the documents in order to get answers to remaining questions.
McCaul has stated that the Biden administration has been hindering the investigation into the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan that left 13 American troops dead and thousands of allies left behind.
McCaul sent a letter which states that he will hold Blinken in contempt of Congress if he continues withholding the documents.
To hold Blinken in contempt, the committee would need to vote to do so first. A vote would then be held by the entire House. If the House votes to find him in contempt, the sanction would be sent to the Department of Justice who would decide whether or not to charge Blinken. A misdemeanor, Contempt of Congress has a potential sentence of up to 1 year in prison.
Blinken would be the first Biden administration official to be held in contempt since Republicans won control of the House.
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