House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) accused the Biden administration of obstructing an investigation into $8 billion in aid to Afghanistan that could be funding the Taliban.
Comer wrote a letter to Biden administration officials urging them to cooperate with oversight from Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).
The letter was addressed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and USAID Administrator Samantha Power. The Oversight Committee has accused the State Department, US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Treasury of obstructing Special Inspector General John Sopko. It says they have prohibited interviews with employees and failed to provide requested documents.
“The Committee on Oversight and Accountability is investigating the withdrawal of U.S. forces and the evacuation of U.S. citizens and Afghan allies from Afghanistan. One critical partner in helping the Committee assess issues related to security, humanitarian, economic, and governance assistance to the Afghan people has been the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). SIGAR has notified the Committee on multiple occasions of the Department of State’s, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s, the Department of Defense’s, and the U.S. Department of Treasury’s refusals to cooperate with SIGAR’s ongoing evaluations. This lack of cooperation is unacceptable. The Administration will neither avoid SIGAR’s important oversight work nor flout accountability to the American people for its catastrophic failures in Afghanistan.
The Administration’s refusal to cooperate with SIGAR has inhibited SIGAR’s ability to conduct independent, robust, and meaningful oversight. As U.S. taxpayer dollars continue to assist the people of Afghanistan, it is imperative SIGAR’s mission remain unobstructed. Congress has granted SIGAR authority to carry out this mission of providing whole-of-government oversight, and it is Congress’s authority alone to determine SIGAR’s jurisdiction and scope of mission. Therefore, the Committee urges the Administration to cooperate fully with SIGAR on any prior, ongoing, or future requests for information, audits, evaluations, oversight, interviews, or any other tool SIGAR deems necessary to complete its mission.”
Comer’s investigation is one of several congressional probes into the Biden administration’s handling of Afghanistan. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is also investigating the withdrawal and the $8 billion in aid.
The Biden Admin is obstructing the Inspector General’s Afghanistan investigations.@RepJamesComer is demanding their full cooperation with IG Sopko, who has previously testified that U.S. taxpayer dollars are falling into the hands of the Taliban. https://t.co/Bn7gnNEB7b
— Oversight Committee (@GOPoversight) May 23, 2023