Psaki faces subpoena threat from GOP chairman

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) is threatening to issue a subpoena to force MSNBC host and former White House press secretary Jen Psaki to testify before Congress about President Biden’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in 2021.

McCaul, the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, sent a letter sent to Psaki’s attorney dated Wednesday, noting she did not respond to earlier requests to testify before the committee, calling it “an affront to this Committee and the U.S. House of Representatives.”

“Ms. Psaki is a private citizen, who has published her insight into the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan for public consumption and personal profit,” McCaul wrote, drawing reference to a recent book, called “Say More,” that Psaki published about her time working for Biden.

“Ms. Psaki’s duty to appear before Congress is manifest, and her former employer’s desire to avoid congressional oversight is not relevant,” he concluded.

In a statement to The Hill on Wednesday, Psaki’s attorney Emily Loeb said “we have communicated to the Committee on several occasions that Ms. Psaki respects the important oversight function of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and wishes to be as helpful as possible in responding to the Committee’s legitimate oversight requests.”

“In good faith, over a week ago, we asked for clarification on the scope of information the Committee is seeking from Ms. Psaki about the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan,” Loeb said. “We have not heard back on those questions.  We will again respond by the deadline in the Chairman’s most recent letter.”

A representative for McCaul responded by saying in a subsequent statement to The Hill: “Ms. Psaki has been dragging this out for almost nine months, and we have given her multiple opportunities to confirm dates.”

“She has until June 12th at 5pm to schedule her testimony,” the spokesperson said. “If that doesn’t happen, she should expect a subpoena.”

A former Democratic political operative and chief spokesperson for Biden’s White House, Psaki left the administration in 2022 and soon after was hired by MSNBC as a host. She has been prominently featured by the network as part of its political news and analysis programming.

Republicans have for months blasted Biden over his handling of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, which the House Foreign Affairs Committee has been investigating.

Updated at 5:37 p.m.

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