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House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul has decided to delay a contempt resolution for Secretary of State Antony Blinken regarding the subpoenaed documents about the United States withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021. This decision comes after Blinken committed to producing the requested documents.

In a statement, McCaul said, “I had a good conversation with the secretary last night, and he agreed to produce the documents. In the spirit of good faith negotiations, I’ve postponed the markup, with the understanding that these documents will be produced.”

The delay marks a significant moment in the prolonged dispute between the committee and the State Department over access to documents concerning the tumultuous exit from Afghanistan in August 2021. McCaul has been a vocal critic of the withdrawal, labeling it “chaotic,” and has been pushing for the documents as part of the Republicans’ investigation into the event.

The probe for these documents intensified last week when McCaul warned Blinken of a potential contempt of Congress charge if the After-Action Review (AAR) notes on the withdrawal were not surrendered. According to McCaul, this review uncovered “significant failures” in the department’s handling of the situation.

The tug-of-war over these documents has been ongoing for months, with McCaul highlighting past instances where the State Department’s responses fell short of the committee’s demands. Despite the issuance of subpoenas and threats of holding Blinken in contempt, negotiations have continued. On news of cooperation, McCaul said, “I take the secretary at his word that we will get all these documents. But if the situation changes, I will have to revisit all our options to [ensure] they are produced.”


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