Secretary of Defense Biden’s Subpoena for Senator Menendez

Senator Democrats floated on Tuesday by issuing a summons letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin after officials from the Biden administration did not attend parliamentary hearings.

Austin was absent from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Washington and was criticized by Democrats and Republicans at the top of the panel.

“I’m very disappointed that Austin refused to request testimony today,” Senator Bob Menendez (DN.J.), chairman of the panel, said in his opening remarks.

“A complete explanation of the US response to the crisis would not be complete without the Pentagon, especially when it comes to understanding the complete collapse of US-trained and funded Afghan troops. He said he would not appear. The decision influences my personal judgment on Pentagon candidates. I hope that the secretary will join the committee in the future. If not, I will issue a summons letter to the committee. You might consider using it to force him or others to testify, “he added.

Commission Ranking Republican Senator Jim Risch (R-Aidaho) also pointed out Austin’s absence.

Riche welcomed Secretary of State Antony Blinken and said he was “doing the right thing” by answering questions from the panel.

“But like the Chair, I’m disappointed that some of your colleagues, especially Secretary Austin, refused to testify. There was a question we really needed to answer and they refused to testify. That’s disappointing, “he said.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told The Epoch Times in an email that Austin had “conflicting promises” that prevented him from appearing on the Senate.

“The Secretary thanked Chair Menendez for his interest in appearing today and regrets that conflicting commitments made his appearance infeasible. He highly respects the role of parliamentary overseer. We look forward to witnessing in front of the Senate and the Senate Military Committee later this month, “Karby said.

Epoch Times Photo
Senator Bob Menendez (DN.J.), chairman, asked US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on September 14, 2021 in Capitol Hill, Washington. .. (Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

Austin and two top US generals will testify to the Senate Military Commission on September 28. The Senate Military Committee is not currently planning a hearing.

Neither Austin nor General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have appeared in parliament since the failure to withdraw from Afghanistan.

Both defended what was unfolded, even though members of both parties described it as a failure.

Menendez said the withdrawal “has obvious and fatal flaws” on Tuesday. Riche described it as a “disastrous failure.”

Brinken said the withdrawal process went smoothly until U.S.-backed Afghan troops were unable to retain the country from the Taliban, causing a desperate withdrawal for 17 days and at least 150 Americans stuck there. I testified.

“Even the most pessimistic assessments did not predict that Kabul’s government forces would collapse while the U.S. military remained. They said what would happen after the U.S. withdrawal after September. It was focused. As General Millie said, what I and no one else saw did not indicate that the army and this government had collapsed in 11 days, “Brinken said. rice field.

He called the evacuation an “extraordinary effort” and praised the 13 US troops who died in an ISIS terrorist attack at a US-owned airport in Kabul as heroes.

Zachary Stieber

Zachary Stieber covers US news, including politics and proceedings. He started in The Epoch Times as a metro reporter for New York City.