Democratic Senate chairman threatens to subpoena Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for Afghanistan withdrawal testimony

Democratic Senate chairman threatens to subpoena Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for Afghanistan withdrawal testimony
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez threatened to subpoena Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin after the latter declined to appear before the committee during a hearing about the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Menendez made the comment during the hearing on Tuesday morning, when the committee heard Secretary of State Antony Blinken's testimony about the withdrawal.

STORIES FROM INSIDE THE PENTAGON ON 9/11: ‘SAW THE FIREBALL PASS OVER THE TOP OF OUR HEAD’

Austin's refusal to testify "will affect my personal judgment on Department of Defense nominees," he said, in addition to raising the possibility of a subpoena for Austin's testimony. "Mr. Secretary, the execution of the U.S. withdrawal was clearly and fatally flawed," the New Jersey Democrat added, speaking to Blinken.

“The Secretary thanks Chairman Menendez for his interest in having him appear today and regrets that conflicting commitments made that appearance impracticable," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a statement provided to the Washington Examiner. "He greatly respects the oversight role of the Congress, and he looks forward to testifying at the end of this month before the Senate and House Armed Services Committees.”

Blinken appeared in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee a day earlier and faced harsh rebukes from members of both parties.

The U.S. ended its 20-year war in Afghanistan in late August, though the final days did not proceed how the Biden administration anticipated. The Taliban easily and swiftly defeated the Afghan military and overthrew the government despite the U.S. having trained and provided equipment for the government.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

With the Taliban assuming control of Afghanistan and the United States on its way out, the U.S. and NATO launched a historic evacuation effort to help third-country nationals and Afghan allies who could be at risk under the new Taliban regime. They were able to evacuate more than 120,000 people safely during that time, with an overwhelming majority of those evacuations taking place after the Taliban rose to power around Aug. 15.

The U.S. military pulled out of Afghanistan before all American citizens and legal residents could depart the country, leaving them behind. Biden administration officials repeatedly said the mission and those people's way out of Afghanistan now reside in the diplomatic channels of the State Department instead of the Department of Defense.

Washington Examiner Videos

Tags: News, Antony Blinken, Lloyd Austin, Pentagon, War in Afghanistan, Afghanistan

Original Author: Mike Brest

Original Location: Democratic Senate chairman threatens to subpoena Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for Afghanistan withdrawal testimony

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting