McCaul issues subpoena to US State Department over Afghanistan files

Michael McCaul, the chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, has taken a significant step in the ongoing investigation into the Afghanistan withdrawal, signing a subpoena that was delivered to the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken Tuesday morning, McCaul’s office said in a statement.

The subpoena demands the release of the “Afghanistan AAR files,” which comprise the underlying documents used to produce the State Department’s After-Action Review (AAR).

According to a statement from McCaul’s office, while the department has complied with two of the three items requested by McCaul on June 8, it has repeatedly failed to produce the Afghanistan AAR files within the committee’s specified deadlines.

Despite McCaul’s prior warning that continued noncompliance would lead to the initiation of compulsory processes, the department has remained obstructive, causing the need for this subpoena.

The committee has been seeking the Afghanistan AAR files since January 2023, with the goal of obtaining transparency and accountability for the American people. However, the State Department’s refusal to provide these documents has impeded the committee’s efforts.

Due to the department’s persistent obstruction, the committee has no choice but to issue the subpoena, demanding the production of the files by 10:00 am ET on Tuesday, July 25, the statement said.

“I have repeatedly requested documents pertaining to the Biden administration’s tumultuous Afghanistan withdrawal,” stated McCaul. “The department’s ongoing refusal to release files related to the After-Action Review represents yet another deliberate attempt to conceal the Biden administration’s responsibility in the chaotic and tragic evacuation from Afghanistan. I am left with no alternative but to issue this subpoena.”

McCaul’s efforts to obtain the Afghanistan AAR files are part of his ongoing commitment to ensure transparency and accountability surrounding the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan. As Chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, McCaul has been at the forefront of scrutinizing the decision-making process and execution of the withdrawal, particularly in light of the chaotic and deadly evacuation that unfolded.

Since January 2023, McCaul has persistently requested documents from the Biden administration pertaining to the Afghanistan withdrawal. The After-Action Review files, in particular, are crucial in understanding the decision-making, strategic planning, and subsequent actions taken during the withdrawal process. These documents are seen as instrumental in assessing the administration’s accountability for the events that transpired.

McCaul’s calls for transparency and accountability are rooted in his commitment to representing the American people and ensuring that the mistakes and missteps made during the withdrawal are thoroughly examined. By issuing the subpoena, McCaul seeks to compel the State Department to produce the Afghanistan AAR files, which he believes will shed light on the administration’s role and responsibilities in the chaotic aftermath of the withdrawal.

Through his relentless pursuit of these documents, McCaul aims to hold the Biden administration accountable for its actions and provide a comprehensive understanding of the decisions made and their impact on the lives of American citizens and Afghan allies involved in the withdrawal process.