Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez threatened to subpoena Defense Secretary General Lloyd Austin after he denied the committee’s request to testify on the Biden administration’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Senator Menendez noted that Gen. Austin’s testimony will be necessary to gain a complete understanding behind the United States’ withdrawal and urged him to attend in the future or face the consequences.
According to Fox News:
“I’m very disappointed that Secretary Austin declined our request to testify today,” Menendez said. “A full accounting of the U.S. response to this crisis is not complete without the Pentagon, especially when it comes to understanding the complete collapse of the U.S.-trained and funded Afghan military.”
The senator went on to say that Austin’s decision not to come before the committee “will affect my personal judgment on Department of Defense nominees.” Menendez then said that he expects Austin to appear before the committee at a future opportunity.
“And if he does not,” Menendez warned, “I may consider the use of committee subpoena power to compel him and others over the course of these last 20 years to testify.”
The hearing, titled “Examining the U.S. Withdrawal From Afghanistan,” was held Tuesday, a day after the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a similar hearing. Blinken was the sole witness at both.
On Monday, Sec. of State Blinken pointed to the Trump administration for the reason behind the chaotic withdrawal with some Democrats in agreement.