Jen Psaki Finally Caves After Subpoena Warning

Jen Psaki Finally Caves After Subpoena Warning

Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki has conceded.

After prolonged negotiations, Psaki has consented to an interview with the House Foreign Affairs Committee regarding the August 2021 U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, as reported by Axios.

The committee’s chairman, Republican Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, announced the panel’s intention to release its findings on the Biden administration’s troubled exit from Afghanistan ahead of the November election.

McCaul initially reached out to Psaki, who is now an MSNBC host, in September but faced resistance.

Axios indicated that the committee aims to uncover discrepancies between Psaki’s public statements and the actual knowledge within the White House during the rapid collapse of Afghanistan, which left thousands stranded in Kabul. The situation was marked by the tragic deaths of 13 American service members in a terrorist attack.

On June 5, McCaul wrote to Psaki’s attorneys, stating she had “already published her insight into the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan for public consumption and personal profit. Ms. Psaki’s duty to appear before Congress is manifest, and her former employer’s desire to avoid congressional oversight is not relevant.”

McCaul warned that a subpoena would be issued if necessary.

On June 24, the White House counsel’s office responded to McCaul, noting that the committee’s request “raises serious separation-of-powers and Executive Branch confidentiality issues.”

However, it added, “as an extraordinary accommodation, we will authorize Ms. Psaki to participate in a voluntary transcribed interview accompanied by personal counsel and the White House counsel’s office subject to appropriate terms and conditions for the interview.”

An interim report released before the 2022 elections, which resulted in Republican control of Congress, criticized the Biden administration’s actions.

The report stated, “[T]he administration repeatedly delayed critical action that was necessary to mitigate the likely consequences of the decision. The result of their inaction was a chaotic Non-combatant Evacuation Operation (NEO) where 13 U.S. servicemembers lost their lives and more than 800 Americans were abandoned behind enemy lines.”

It highlighted that when Biden announced the withdrawal in April 2021, he made several claims to the American public.

“However, the Committee Minority now believes none of these claims were accurate. And worse, President Biden was likely aware they were not accurate when he made his case to the American people in April 2021,” the report stated.

The report noted, “The Biden administration’s own internal assessments understood that the Afghan military would be unable to defend the country from the Taliban without American air support, military advisors, and contractors, who they relied upon to enable the operation of the Afghan Air Force. The president was warned repeatedly that the return of the Taliban was a question of when, not if.”

It further criticized the administration for making “almost no effort to evacuate Afghan partners who fought side-by-side with our military.”

The report accused the president and his aides of deceiving the public.

“The Biden administration repeatedly misled the American people about the real situation on the ground in Kabul, issuing public statements that were in direct opposition to the internal reports being sent by the State Department and U.S. military,” it said.

“Despite claiming a robust deliberation process on withdrawal, senior Biden administration officials acknowledge that the recommendations of senior military advisors, diplomats and allies were ignored,” the report concluded.

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