GOP rep introduces resolution to impeach Austin over Afghanistan withdrawal

Far-right lawmaker Rep. Cory Mills (R-Fla.) introduced articles of impeachment Friday against Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, accusing the Pentagon chief of ignoring key intelligence and pushing through a chaotic 2021 retreat from Afghanistan that resulted in the deaths of 13 American service members.

Mills formally introduced the resolution to impeach Austin just one day ahead of the two-year anniversary of the deaths of the service members.

“High-level officials in this administration blatantly ignored intel that Americans and our allied partners in Kabul would be left behind in harm’s way unless the U.S. corrected course in our withdrawal,” Mills said in a statement.

“As a result, nearly 200 people, including 13 American servicemembers, were murdered at Abbey Gate in Kabul, Afghanistan two years ago,” he continued. “Because of this clear dereliction of duty, today I am introducing articles of impeachment for Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.”

The American service members and dozens of Afghans were killed Aug. 26, 2021, when two suicide bombers attacked Abbey Gate at the Kabul airport.

The resolution introduced by Mills says Austin engaged in “high crimes and misdemeanors” for failing to properly plan for the withdrawal despite having at least eight months to prepare. The Florida lawmaker also slammed Austin for “strategic and moral blindness” by forcing a hasty retreat that failed to protect American and Afghan lives.

Mills pointed to a messy U.S. withdrawal from Bagram Airfield in July 2021. The Americans left the Afghan forces in charge of the military installation without notifying the new commander.

When the Taliban took control of the base in August, they released thousands of prisoners, including Abdul Rehman Al-Loghri, one of the Abbey Gate bombers.

It’s unclear how much support the resolution will have in the House. Republicans have expressed intense passion over impeaching Biden administration officials but have yet to follow through.

The effort to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has died down, and a resolution from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) to impeach President Biden also went nowhere.

The U.S. began its chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan in summer 2021 and completed the retreat by the end of August. The pullout allowed the Taliban to take control of the capitol of Kabul and initially left behind thousands of Americans.

Republicans were enraged by the withdrawal and have held hearings in the House this year spotlighting both the chaos and the deaths of the American troops.

House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) is also investigating the withdrawal. However, he has faced numerous delays, clashing with Secretary of State Antony Blinken over retrieving the necessary documents and information.

Mills said Friday it was “not enough for Congress to hold committee hearings,” calling for more action.

“We must start taking real action to address the complete failure of this administration,” the conservative lawmaker said. “The fact that it has been two entire years without any member of this administration being held accountable is unfathomable.”

“That changes today,” he added.

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