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‘Under Threat of Criminal Contempt, Blinken Will Share Portion of Classified Afghan Docs’

Anthony Blinken

The House Foreign Affairs Committee has received a breakthrough in its quest to review “a hotly contested dissent cable, which is believed to show Biden administration officials knew the Taliban would quickly reassume control of the country once American forces departed” writes the Washington Free Beacon.

After over a year, the State Department has finally informed the committee it will be allowed to review the document. However, the Department says it will partially disclose the document if committee chairman Michael McCaul (R., Texas) suspends his bid to hold Blinken in contempt of Congress for obstruction.

The decision comes after “McCaul signaled on Monday that he is moving forward with criminal charges against Blinken, who would be the first ever secretary of state to be held in contempt of Congress.”

“The Department is prepared to invite [McCaul] and the Ranking Member of the Committee to visit the Department at your convenience to read this cable and its response, with the names of the signatories redacted and with the understanding that the Committee would suspend possible enforcement actions related to the Committee’s subpoena,” the State Department wrote to McCaul, according to a copy of the letterobtained by the Washington Free Beacon. The letter also states the lawmakers must agree to read the document “in camera” with State Department supervision.

McCaul responded on Thursday afternoon saying he will view the document and temporarily “pause efforts to enforce the committee’s subpoena pending my review of the documents.” The congressman emphasized that “the subpoena remains in full force and effect, and the acceptance of this accommodation does not waive any of the committee’s rights regarding a subpoena,” suggesting that Blinken could still be held in contempt of Congress.

The Washington Free Beacon also notes that McCaul, who has been pressing the Department to produce the classified document for more than a year, has demanded the State Department permit all lawmakers, including those outside of the committee, to view the classified document. McCaul believes the dissent cable is critical to his investigation into the botched 2021 evacuation from Kabul that left 13 Americans dead.