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Blinken subpoenaed by top republican in Afghanistan withdrawal probe

A GOP chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee has delivered a subpoena to the U.S. State Department for documents on the Afghanistan withdrawal.
Posted at 5:54 PM, Mar 28, 2023

Rep. Michael McCaul, a top Republican who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has followed through with an ultimatum and a subpoena has been sent to the U.S. Department of State. 

It's connected to a demand for a dissent cable authored by U.S. diplomats who served in Afghanistan as the U.S. was carrying out a withdrawal from that country. 

Earlier this month Rep. McCaul gave U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken just days to hand over the document or a subpoena would be delivered. 

U.S. troops and Afghan allies prepare to leave Afghanistan in August 2021.

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A group of U.S. diplomats reportedly wrote a cable dated mid-July of 2021, which was classified, addressing it to Secretary Blinken to warn that action needed to betaken because the situation in Afghanistan would rapidly worsen into a major crisis. 

In a statement from from House Foreign Affairs Committee, it says lawmakers are requesting the cable, which was written by 23 State Department officials working at the embassy in Kabul, along with Secretary Blinken's response. The statement cites a report from the Wall Street Journal that said the cable reportedly warned that the Biden administration was not prepared for the unilateral withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan.  

McCaul has offered to review the document by camera rather than have it physically brought to be viewed in person by the committee. The committee says the State Department refused to provide the documents after "reasonable concessions."

By Tuesday it wasn't clear if the State Department had responded to the subpoena.