Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez, D-N.J., expressed his disappointment that Defense Secretary Gen. Lloyd Austin didn’t settle for the committee’s invitation to testify at a listening to coping with the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and threatened to take motion if he continued not to cooperate.
In his opening remarks at that listening to, at which Secretary of State Antony Blinken appeared, Menendez mentioned that Austin’s testimony is important so as for the committee to totally study what occurred in Afghanistan.
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“I’m very upset that Secretary Austin declined our request to testify immediately,” Menendez mentioned. “A full accounting of the U.S. response to this disaster will not be full with out the Pentagon, particularly when it comes to understanding the entire collapse of the U.S.-trained and funded Afghan navy.”
The senator went on to say that Austin’s determination not to come earlier than the committee “will have an effect on my private judgment on Department of Defense nominees.” Menendez then mentioned that he expects Austin to seem earlier than the committee at a future alternative.
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“And if he doesn’t,” Menendez warned, “I’ll think about the usage of committee subpoena energy to compel him and others over the course of those final 20 years to testify.”
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The listening to, titled “Examining the U.S. Withdrawal From Afghanistan,” was held Tuesday, a day after the House Foreign Affairs Committee held an analogous listening to. Blinken was the only witness at each.