Under threat of criminal charges from Congress, Secretary of State Antony Blinken agreed on Wednesday to give lawmakers partial access to classified information about the botched Afghanistan withdrawal.
The State Department informed the House Foreign Affairs Committee that it would allow the committee’s members 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.
After stonewalling the committee’s investigation for more than a year, the State Department now says that it is willing to partially disclose the document if committee chairman Michael McCaul (R., Texas) suspends his bid to hold Blinken in contempt of Congress for obstruction. 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 letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
The State Department wrote to the committee hours after publicly informing reporters of its decision, according to sources familiar with the matter.