The State Department violated a House subpoena last week after refusing to provide a sensitive diplomatic cable regarding President Joe Biden’s 2021 Afghanistan withdrawal, according to Newsmax. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has declared his reservations about providing the document, citing fear that Dissent Channel’s anonymity will be compromised.
Dissent Channel is under the U.S. Agency for International Development and is where the cable was sent through. The channel is intended for foreign officers to critique American foreign policy which is then sent to senior department officials.
“The State Department has a strong interest in facilitating open, creative, and uncensored dialogue on substantive foreign policy issues within the professional foreign affairs community,” the policy statement reads.
The cable reportedly contains 23 diplomats cautioning against the Afghan government’s collapse in July 2021, according to the Wall Street Journal. Rep. Michael McCaul, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has said that he has tried numerous times to cordially obtain the information.
Blinken reportedly wants to brief the chairman and committee on the document without providing it, according to State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel. McCaul has rejected this rationale and claimed that the department was informed that a brief about the documents will not satisfy the subpoena.
Although the State Department has a legal obligation to comply, McCaul said that he and his staff are deliberating on the next steps to take as a result of the non-compliance. The person to whom the subpoena was addressed can now be held responsible for being in contempt of Congress after the chamber holds a vote.
The resolution would then be turned over to the Department of Justice for potential prosecution, however, many conservatives argue that the DOJ has become a political weapon used by Democrats to prosecute their enemies.