McCaul slams State Department for ‘misleading’ the public over Afghanistan withdrawal

The US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul lashed out at the State Department on Wednesday and said its spokesman Ned Price had “inaccurately” implied the department was fully cooperating with the investigation into the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.

This comes after Price on Monday skimmed over a question on McCaul’s threat to issue a subpoena for documents being withheld by the State Department. Price said at a press conference that the department was working as “expeditiously as possible” to accommodate McCaul’s request for information and documents.

Price also said on Monday the department has already provided “hundreds of pages of documents”.

McCaul meanwhile bit back on Wednesday and slammed the State Department stating it “continues to obstruct my committee’s investigation into the Afghanistan withdrawal and we will not tolerate it.”

According to a statement published on the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s website, McCaul said three specific priority items had been identified “which the department could easily produce today, but has failed to do so.”

He accused the Biden administration of hiding their lack of transparency and said the withdrawal was a stain on their reputation.

In the statement McCaul listed the timeline of requests made to the State Department and said documents submitted included significant redactions with no explanation, and information that had either already been published or information the department was prepared to provide to the public at the time.

The priority document’s McCaul has consistently requested are the Dissent Channel cable and response, Ambassador Daniel Smith’s after-action report, and the US Embassy Kabul’s Emergency Action Plans.

He stated: “The US Department of State is misleading the public about its response to Congress on the Afghanistan withdrawal just as it misled the public on the events themselves.”Earlier this week, McCaul stated that he is prepared to issue a subpoena in the event the State Department fails to cooperate with the committee’s document request.