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Senate Dems threaten subpoena after Pentagon chief Austin refuses to appear at Afghanistan hearing

Added 09-14-21 11:03:02am EST - “The Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Tuesday that he may subpoena Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to appear before the panel to discuss the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and suggested he may consider…” - Washingtontimes.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Washingtontimes.com: “Senate Dems threaten subpoena after Pentagon chief Austin refuses to appear at Afghanistan hearing”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

The Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Tuesday that he may subpoena Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to appear before the panel to discuss the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and suggested he may consider blocking future Defense Department political nominees until Mr. Austin appears.

The sharp comments from Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey came at the opening of a long-awaited hearing with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the only Biden administration official so far to testify before Congress about the disastrous U.S. military exit from Afghanistan last month. Mr. Austin refused an invitation, Mr. Menendez said.

“I’m very disappointed that Secretary Austin declined our request to testify today. A full accounting of the U.S. response to this crisis is not complete without the Pentagon, especially when it comes to understanding the complete collapse of the U.S.-trained and funded Afghan military,” Mr. Menendez said.

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Mr. Austin’s “decision not to appear before the committee will affect my personal judgment on Department of Defense nominees,” the senator continued. “I expect the secretary will avail himself to the committee in the near future. And if he does not, I may consider the use of committee subpoena power to compel him and others [involved in Afghanistan decision-making] over the course of these last 20 years to testify.”

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