WASHINGTON: The US House of Representatives committee could vote as soon as next week on whether to recommend a contempt of Congress charge against Secretary of State Antony Blinken over the release of a classified cable about the chaotic August 2021 US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The Republican House Foreign Affairs Committee chairperson, Michael McCaul, on Wednesday scheduled a committee meeting to consider the charge against Democratic President Joe Biden’s top diplomat on May 24.
McCaul has launched an investigation into the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Republicans – and some Democrats – say there has never been a full accounting of the chaotic operation, in which 13 US service members were killed at Kabul’s airport.
McCaul has for months been seeking a “dissent channel” cable sent in July 2021 that a Wall Street Journal article in August 2021 said warned top officials of the potential collapse of Kabul soon after the withdrawal of US troops. The so-called dissent channel allows State Department officials to air concerns to supervisors.
The State Department has declined, saying some information can only be shared with senior officials to protect the identity of those using the dissent channel.
Instead, it provided a classified briefing and a written summary of the cable. The committee has said information provided is insufficient.