House Oversight and Reform Committee Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) released the following statement after the committee received a briefing from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). Republicans pressed SIGAR for a briefing on August 19, 2021. The briefing is a result of their request.
“America needs answers on Afghanistan, and, since the White House either cherry-picks what questions to answer or completely fails to respond to questions, Republicans have had to find answers elsewhere. Committee Republicans invited the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction to brief Congress today, and I appreciate his willingness to come forward and his commitment to testify before the Full Committee in the coming weeks.
“Between the botched withdrawal, the Biden Administration choosing to leave Americans behind, the likelihood American military equipment and taxpayer dollars now reside in Taliban or terrorist hands, Afghan President Ghani fleeing the country with more than $169 million, and the deaths of 13 U.S. servicemen and women, the situation in Afghanistan is dismal and heart wrenching.
“The Special Inspector General has revealed even more startling consequences of President Biden’s disastrous withdrawal. The SIGAR confirmed that 50% of fuel provided by the U.S. has been stolen in Afghanistan by corrupt government officials responsible for its distribution. It’s also been confirmed U.S. military equipment is likely being used by the Taliban on Afghan civilians and being traded with terrorist organizations. This is unacceptable. Republicans will continue to take all actions possible to investigate what went wrong and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.”
Oversight Republicans have sent the following letters in hopes of gaining better insight into the disastrous, deadly withdrawal effort.
- August 18: Letter to Chairwoman Maloney and Subcommittee Chairman Lynch demanding a hearing to answer questions regarding the withdrawal
- August 19: Letter to Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction Sopko demanding a briefing to account for the location of U.S. funds in Afghanistan
- August 19: Letters to Secretaries Blinken and Austin requesting they appear before the Oversight Committee
- August 23: Letter to Secretary Austin demanding info on Taliban access to American military equipment
- August 24: Letters to Secretary Blinken and Attorney General Garland regarding reports of the Afghan president fleeing with $169 million in cash
- August 24: Letters to Secretaries Blinken and Mayorkas on ensuring proper vetting of Afghan refugees