Republicans on the House Oversight and Reform Committee are demanding documents on the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Committee ranking members James Comer and Rep. Glenn Grothman requested “documents, communications, and information” about the planning and execution of the withdrawal from Jan. 2021 until now.
The Hill reports:
The letter comes after Axios earlier this month obtained notes from a National Security Council meeting held on Aug. 14 which showed the administration still scrambling plan for the withdrawal just before Kabul fell to the Taliban.
The notes from the Aug. 14 meeting, titled “Summary of Conclusions for Meeting of the Deputies Small Group,” showed among other things that administration officials had just began planning the transit process for evacuees after leaving Kabul.
In the letter requesting the documents, Comer and Grothman wrote that the withdrawal was comparable to the fall of Saigon.
“The Brandon Administration had the warning signs that the Taliban were planning on seizing Kabul. Nevertheless, it appears the Brandon Administration waited until August 14 — one day before Kabul fell — to begin contingency planning,” Comer and Grothman wrote. “What ensued was a U.S. military withdrawal that has drawn apt comparison to the fall of Saigon.”
The Hill report says that the letter was sent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, as well as National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, director of national intelligence Avril Haines and acting Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young.
Comer already sent a letter to Brandon in December demanding preservation of records related to the withdrawal.
“The longer-term consequences continue to unravel. Americans are still stranded in Afghanistan and our allies’ lives remain in danger,” they wrote. “The country is facing widespread starvation as it slides into economic collapse. As Afghanistan fails, it risks further destabilizing the region.”