Rep. McCaul threatens contempt charge against Sec. Blinken over denial of subpoena

 May 14, 2023

Secretary of State Antony Blinken continues to remain under heavy political fire.

According to the Washington Examiner, Blinken now faces the wrath of Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) for defying a subpoena related to a request for "a July 2021 dissent cable from the United States Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan."

The request revolves around McCaul's ongoing investigation into President Joe Biden's chaotic and deadly withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan during his first year in office.

McCaul has long-argued that the Biden administration, including top officials, have stonewalled his attempts to uncover the truth of what really happened leading up to the disaster.

Big moves

An aide for McCaul stated last week that Blinken "has once again failed to comply with the subpoena," going on to say that McCaul will work to hold the secretary of state in "contempt of Congress."

The Examiner added:

McCaul is fed up with Blinken repeatedly refusing to hand over an internal dissent cable that was signed by two dozen U.S. Embassy members in Kabul and sent to the State Department in mid-July 2021, just over a month before the Taliban took Kabul. The dissent cable is known to have criticized the State Department’s planning for the evacuation and warned that Kabul could collapse soon after the U.S. troop withdrawal.

The Biden administration, and especially Blinken, took intense political and public heat for the Afghanistan withdrawal that ended up costing American lives, and the lives of countless others.

Top Republicans, including McCaul, have spent considerable time and resources to keep that stain on the administration from being buried.

Last week, in a letter making his terms crystal clear, McCaul told Blinken that the subpoena "must be complied with immediately" adding that "should you fail to comply, the Committee is prepared to take the necessary steps to enforce its subpoena, including holding you in contempt of Congress and/or initiating a civil enforcement proceeding."

Could a contempt charge happen?

McCaul, with the power he holds as House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, could hold a contempt vote that would need to be passed by the committee and eventually by the full House.

Given that Republicans control the House, it's not out of the question that such a contempt vote could happen and actually pass.

If that were to happen, the contempt charge recommendation would be forwarded to the Department of Justice, which would decide on whether or not to charge Blinken with contempt.

Given that Biden's Justice Department tends to protect its own, it would be nothing short of unprecedented to see Blinken hit with a charge. But the process has to begin somewhere.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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