By Patricia Zengerle
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Republican chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee threatened to issue a subpoena if the State Department does not produce documents it has requested related to the August 2021 U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the committee said on Tuesday.
Representative Michael McCaul sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken requesting the information before Blinken’s testimony to the committee on Thursday.
The letter, dated March 20, noted that McCaul had sent a comprehensive document request on the withdrawal on Jan. 12, and a follow-up letter on March 3, among other requests.
The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Blinken is due to testify to congressional committees in both the Senate and House this week.
Republicans have launched a series of investigations of Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration since taking control of the House in January.
McCaul had said even before becoming committee chairman that he wants to look into the messy withdrawal from Afghanistan and events in the country since, noting that there has never been a full accounting of the chaotic operation, in which 13 U.S. service members were killed at Kabul’s airport.
Hundreds of U.S. citizens and many thousands of Afghans who had worked with American forces were left behind.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, additional reporting by Simon Lewis; editing by Jonathan Oatis)