Jen Psaki Agrees to HFAC Interview on Afghanistan but Requires White House Approval

Former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has consented to a recorded interview with the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) following a period of abstaining from answering lawmakers’ inquiries regarding the Biden administration’s actions in Afghanistan. HFAC Chairman Michael McCaul disclosed that Psaki acquiesced to the interview under the threat of a subpoena. The interview is scheduled for July 26, though there is a caveat.

McCaul noted that Psaki's participation hinges on White House approval, raising concerns about potential strategic maneuvering. He stressed the necessity for Psaki to clarify the conditions of her appearance by a specified deadline to prevent being compelled to undergo a deposition.

The committee's investigation uncovered that Psaki's statements while serving as White House Press Secretary often distorted the actual situation in Afghanistan. McCaul emphasized the committee’s interest in understanding the diplomatic and information transmission failures that led to misrepresentations regarding coordination with allies, contingency planning, and the safety of Americans and allies in Afghanistan.

McCaul has criticized Psaki for her unwillingness to cooperate with the committee, particularly highlighting her use of "weak legal arguments" to evade accountability for her involvement in communications and messaging during the withdrawal. Despite discussing the administration's efforts during the Afghanistan withdrawal in her memoir, Psaki declined to cooperate with the committee.

McCaul cautioned Psaki that if she continued to refuse cooperation, the committee would seek her compelled testimony through a subpoena. He emphasized that as a private citizen who has already shared her insights on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan publicly, her lack of regard for Congress and the U.S. House of Representatives was disappointing.

Written by Staff Reports

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