Top Biden Official Under Investigation Over Afghanistan Withdrawal

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( – Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki is scheduled to give a transcribed interview with the House Foreign Affairs Committee on July 26 about the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021, as confirmed by a spokesperson for the Republican majority on the committee.

Now an MSNBC show host, Psaki agreed to the interview after the White House granted permission. Rachel Cotton, the deputy counsel to the president, described this allowance as an “extraordinary accommodation” and stipulated that Psaki be accompanied by personal counsel along with representatives from the White House Counsel’s Office.

The news of her upcoming appearance was initially reported by Axios.

Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) of the House Foreign Affairs Committee has been pursuing Psaki’s testimony for nine months. This is part of a broader investigation into the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, concluding America’s almost 20-year military presence there.

The withdrawal operation saw chaotic scenes as the Taliban swiftly took control and the U.S.-backed Afghan government fell. The U.S. managed an extensive airlift, evacuating over 120,000 people, primarily Afghans at risk of Taliban retribution. However, the evacuation efforts were severely criticized globally due to tragic incidents, including a suicide bombing that claimed the lives of 13 U.S. servicemen and 170 Afghans.

Since assuming the committee chairmanship in January 2023, McCaul has prioritized scrutinizing the administration’s actions during the pullout. He argues that the withdrawal encouraged adversaries of the U.S. and insists on accountability for the administration’s perceived failures.

In August 2022, McCaul released a preliminary report titled “‘A Strategic Failure’: Assessing the Administration’s Afghanistan Withdrawal,” which criticized the planning processes and highlighted several misjudgments that led to a chaotic and deadly evacuation.

So far, the committee has examined 10,000 documents and conducted 17 interviews with U.S. officials, along with hearings involving key military figures like former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Gen. Mark Milley and U.S. Central Command Commander Gen. Frank McKenzie.

The committee aims to probe Psaki about potential discrepancies between internal discussions and public statements made by the White House regarding the withdrawal. In a letter to Psaki’s attorney, McCaul emphasized that her insights are crucial for understanding the decisions and actions taken during the Taliban’s rapid advancement and the subsequent evacuations.

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