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House GOP plans to hit Blinken with historic contempt-of-Congress charge after he misses deadline to turn in damning Afghanistan withdrawal document
Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

House GOP plans to hit Blinken with historic contempt-of-Congress charge after he misses deadline to turn in damning Afghanistan withdrawal document

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has missed another deadline to turn over to Congress a prophetic 2021 memo that had forewarned the Biden administration that its Afghanistan withdrawal was going to devolve into an absolute nightmare.

The Biden bureaucrat's failure to satisfy the congressional request will reportedly not go unpunished.

What's the background?

According to the Wall Street Journal, a classified memo was sent on July 13, 2021, to Blinken and Director of Policy Planning Salman Ahmed ahead of the United States' Aug. 31, 2021, troop withdrawal deadline, warning that the Afghan government was at risk of collapse and that the Taliban's advance was imminent.

In addition to indicating that the Afghan security forces would be crushed and the Taliban would enjoy rapid territorial gains, the memo reportedly asked that the State Department stop using sanitized language to describe the horrific atrocities being committed by the Taliban.

Prior to the receipt of the memo, President Joe Biden claimed that a Taliban takeover and governmental collapse were "highly unlikely."

The Foreign Affairs Committee now investigating the Biden administration's botched withdrawal subpoenaed the State Department on March 28, seeking a copy of the memo by April 4.

The State Department missed this and a second deadline, violating the congressional subpoena.

Blinken and the Biden State Department ultimately determined that the democratically elected representatives of the American people only deserved to see summaries of the memo.

Having found these summaries "insufficient to satisfy the committee's subpoena" and noting that the "Department is now in violation of its legal obligation," Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) stressed in a May 5 letter to Blinken that the subpoena "compels you to produce in unredacted form 'the Dissent Channel cable" and "must be complied with immediately."

"Should you fail to comply, the Committee is prepared to take the necessary steps to enforce its subpoena, including holding you in contempt of Congress and/or initiating a civil enforcement proceeding," McCaul warned.

Blinken and his department were given a final deadline: May 11, 2023, at 6:00 p.m..

It appears as though Blinken once again has opted for concealment.

'First time in history'

State Department spokesman Vedant Patel indicated just ahead of the deadline, "We will continue to engage with the House Foreign Affairs Committee and discuss with them on their requests. As I have said before, the department has already offered a classified briefing and a summary of the dissent channel cable, as well as the department’s response."

"We believe that this information has been sufficient to meet what the committee has requested thus far," added Patel.

McCaul, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told the Daily Mail Thursday, "We've given them ample time. Three extensions of time we tried to work this out, but unfortunately, it doesn't appear that that's going to work and the next step will be to move to contempt proceedings."

A committee chair confirmed to the Washington Examiner Friday that the State Department "has once again failed to comply with the subpoena."

"We plan to have a meeting of my committee on May 24 to hold the secretary in contempt and move that to the floor for a full vote by the House of Representatives," added McCaul.

McCaul noted that it would be the "first time in history" that a secretary of state has been held in contempt by Congress.

If Blinken is held in contempt by committee vote, then general House vote, it will be left up to the Department of Justice whether to charge Blinken.

Contempt of Congress is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to one year in prison.

A catastrophe foretold

In obfuscating the actual contents of the prophetic memo, Blinken — who reportedly got the ball rolling on an impactful disinformation campaign that aided Biden ahead of the 2020 election — may be attempting to help his boss once again.

After all, if the nature of the warnings that went unheeded was indeed substantial and prophetic, then the Biden administration may have greater difficulty displacing blame and culpability for what ultimately occurred.

Thirteen U.S. service members died during a terror attack near the Hamid Karzai International Airport along with 170 others during the chaotic withdrawal.

Thousands of Americans were left behind, some for months.

According to a Pentagon report, equipment worth approximately $7.12 billion was left behind after the withdrawal, including aircraft, air-to-ground munitions, weapons, armored vehicles, communications equipment, and other materials, reported CNN.

The New York Post indicated that these weapons gifted to the Taliban by the Biden administration were in addition to the billions of dollars in equipment the Taliban would ultimately appropriate from the collapsed Afghan security forces.

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.
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