Tomorrow morning at 9:00amET, the House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a briefing on Afghanistan with representatives from the Biden administration. Even though the State Department offered to have a portion of the hearing unclassified, the majority decided to close it to the public and make the question-and-answer section at one of the highest levels of classification, TS/SCI. Since the Afghanistan withdrawal was completed nearly 10 months ago, the committee has only held one open, full committee hearing featuring an administration official. In response, the House Foreign Affairs Committee Republicans have released the following statement.
"This committee has jurisdiction over the U.S. State Department and a constitutional obligation to conduct oversight of the agency under Article I," the Members write. "Yet, even though the State Department had a large part of the responsibility for the noncombatant evacuation operation that ultimately resulted in the death of 13 U.S. servicemembers and the abandonment of more than 700 American citizens and tens of thousands of Afghan allies in the Taliban-controlled country, our committee has to date only had one open, full committee hearing with an official from the Biden administration. Holding a closed briefing where the question-and-answer portion is classified at the highest level -- even though the vast majority of the information sought should not be classified -- is not the transparency the American people deserve."
The statement was signed by Lead Republican Michael McCaul (R-TX), and Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Scott Perry (R-PA), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Lee Zeldin (R-NY), Ann Wagner (R-MO), Brian Mast (R-FL), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Ken Buck (R-CO), Tim Burchett (R-TN), Mark Green (R-TN), Andy Barr (R-KY), Greg Steube (R-FL), Dan Meuser (R-PA), Claudia Tenney (R-NY), August Pfluger (R-TX), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Peter Meijer (R-MI), Ronny Jackson (R-TX), Young Kim (R-CA), and Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL)