UPDATED 6:53 AM PT – Wednesday, September 15, 2021
Lawmakers are threatening to subpoena Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin after he failed to attend a Senate hearing regarding the Afghanistan withdrawal on Tuesday. Austin claimed due to a “scheduling conflict” he was unable to make it. The DOD cited, “conflicting commitments made that appearance impracticable.”
Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) remarked it was his first time hearing such an excuse. If Austin is absent again, the Democrat senator highlighted plans to subpoena the cabinet member to come before the Senate.
“Article 1 of the Constitution by the founders was not the presidency, it was not the courts,” explained the chairman. “It was the Congress of the United States. We have an oversight function. I take that seriously and I will do what is necessary to exercise that oversight function. I hope that in this case or in others, there will be cooperation because I expect to call others as well from the past.”
Menendez sees the possible subpoena as a check the legislature holds over the executive branch. He said that many generals have been lying to Congress, so to prevent a future failure he expects to hear from as many as he can get to testify.
— One America News (@OANN) September 14, 2021
Meanwhile, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs John Kirby claimed, “he (Austin) greatly respects the oversight role of the Congress and he looks forward to testifying at the end of this month.” As of now, this question remains: why has the U.S. Secretary of Defense refused to answer questions about the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan?