Psaki agrees to sit for interview with House panel probing Afghanistan withdrawal

Former White House press secretary and current MSNBC host Jen Psaki has agreed to be interviewed by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Chair Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said this week.

McCaul’s committee has for months been seeking testimony from Psaki about President Biden’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in 2021.

In a letter to Psaki dated Monday, McCaul wrote that his office was accepting Psaki’s commitment to appear for a transcribed interview on July 26.

“However, I understand you have conditioned your appearance on approval by the White House,” McCaul wrote. “As my staff informed your counsel, it is incumbent on a witness appearing before the Committee to make any third-party arrangements.”

The chairman said he expects Psaki to “resolved the conditionality of your appearance by June 26, 2024.”

“If not, I must treat your June 12 response as a refusal to appear and you will be compelled to sit for a deposition on July 26, 2024,” McCaul said.

In a letter to McCaul dated June 12 and obtained by The Hill, an attorney for Psaki noted she “must defer to the White House Counsel’s Office and allow them to engage in the constitutionally mandated accommodations process,” because “the Committee [is] seeking information about Ms. Psaki’s service as White House Press Secretary and Assistant to the President.”

Psaki is “a private citizen who has no authority to make decisions on behalf of the Executive Branch or to weigh the confidentiality interests at issue,” her attorney wrote in the June 12 letter obtained by The Hill on Monday.

The Hill has reached out to a representative for Psaki for comment on McCaul’s Monday letter.

McCaul earlier this month threatened to issue a subpoena to compel Psaki to testify if she did not agree to speak with the committee about Biden’s withdrawal of troops voluntarily.

At the time, Psaki’s attorney told The Hill the former top White House aide “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.”

Psaki left Biden’s White House in 2022 and has since joined MSNBC as a leading host and political analyst.

Updated: 2:43 p.m.

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