US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. File photoInternationalIndiaAfricaWASHINGTON (Sputnik) – US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week threatening to hold the chief diplomat in contempt of Congress for failing to provide the panel with a dissent cable related to the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan. In March, the committee issued a subpoena to produce a July 2021 State Department Dissent Channel cable purportedly warning of the risk of a rapid takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban in the event of a US departure from the country. “Unfortunately, the information provided by the Department is insufficient to satisfy the Committee’s March 28 subpoena,” the letter, sent on Friday, said. “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.” The dissent cable and official response are “critical and material” to the committee’s investigation into the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the letter said. AmericasBlinken Admits US’s Lack of Preparedness for Hasty Afghanistan Withdrawal7 April, 09:21 GMTThe committee is offering to accommodate the State Department by accepting copies of the dissent cable with names and other identifying information redacted, the letter said. Alternatively, the panel is willing to review the documents in a private setting and with non-disclosure agreements, the letter said. The proposed accommodations would address the State Department’s concerns about the confidentiality of messages on its dissent channel, the letter added. The letter demanded the State Department comply with the subpoena no later than May 11.
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