House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green subpoenaed Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas this week for his agency’s "wholly inadequate" response to requests for records related to the panel’s investigation into the vetting process of individuals who entered the United States after the Biden administration's withdrawal from Afghanistan. Green, R-Tenn., issued the subpoena Tuesday, saying the Department of Homeland Security failed to provide "satisfactory documents and other materials" relevant to its probe. In October, DHS did provide the committee more than 1,600 pages related to Afghan evacuees, but Green said that was "wholly inadequate." FLASHBACK: MAYORKAS DEFENDS 'MULTI-LAYERED, MULTI-AGENCY' AFGHAN REFUGEE VETTING AMID GOP CONCERNS Green said the documents provided in early October were either "wholly redacted, devoid of content or illegible." Some, he added, were in a format that made them "indecipherable." Green added that information was also provided in a "password-protected" manner, which prohibited committee lawmakers and investigators from sorting or reviewing the material properly. "While the produced documents provide some basic information regarding Afghan evacuees, they fall well short of what was requested by the committee," Green wrote to Mayorkas in the cover letter to the subpoena. "For example, the Department failed to produce a single e-mail or other communication from Department employees related to the withdrawal from Afghanistan or Customs and Border Protection’s screening, vetting, or inspection of Afghan evacuees at U.S. ports of entry. "The repeated failures of the Department to provide a satisfactory response and protracted delays necessitate the issuance of the enclosed subpoena." Green said that DHS provided a "partial production" on Oct. 27, but due to password locks and formatting, the chairman said it was not a "satisfactory response to the committee’s requests, which were first made six months ago." Green said the committee requires "the data, the documents and other information compelled by the attached subpoena to fully evaluate potential legislation to reform the Department’s authority and operations." The subpoena compels Mayorkas to turn over requested records by Nov. 7 at noon. A DHS spokesperson slammed the compulsory measure, telling Fox News Digital the committee "continues to misuse its authority and pursue media attention instead of conducting actual oversight for any legislative purpose." "DHS has produced thousands of pages of documents, provided countless briefings and sent dozens of witnesses to appear for hearings," the spokesperson said. "In recent weeks, the department produced nearly 7,000 pages of documents and data in response to CHS requests, including this one." The spokesperson said that instead of efforts to "work with" DHS, the committee "floods the department with an unprecedented and inordinate volume of requests and imposes unrealistic and arbitrary timelines," which "undermines the department’s ability to respond effectively, not only to CHS, but to all of Congress." FLASHBACK: US GOVERNMENT 'STRUGGLED TO TRACK' AFGHAN EVACUEES WHO DEPARTED MILITARY BASES AFTER WITHDRAWAL: IG The DHS spokesperson added, "Regardless, the Department is committed to and will continue to respond to congressional oversight requests in good faith, all while working to protect our nation from terrorism and targeted violence, secure our borders, respond to natural disasters, defend against cyberattacks and more." A DHS official told Fox News Digital the department produced approximately 6,500 pages of documents in response to Green’s inquiry in recent weeks. The official also said DHS has informed the committee that thousands of more documents are under review for rolling productions over the next several weeks. "Once again, DHS has been cooperating in good faith with the committee by working to complete their enormous production request, and the subpoena was completely unnecessary," the official said. As for the substance of the committee’s investigation related to the screening and vetting of Afghan evacuees, a DHS spokesperson told Fox News Digital those individuals "undergo a multi-layered, rigorous screening and vetting process that begins overseas and is conducted by intelligence, law enforcement and counterterrorism professionals from the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and State, FBI, National Counterterrorism Center and additional Intelligence Community partners." "The federal government is leveraging every tool available to ensure that no individuals who pose a threat to public safety or national security are permitted to enter the United States," the spokesperson said. Meanwhile, a DHS official told Fox News Digital the Department of Homeland Security has made "an enormous" number of personnel, documents and briefings available to Congress, providing nearly 50 witnesses in more than 30 hearings across both the House and the Senate, in addition to nearly 20 DHS personnel participating in transcribed interviews. The official said Green’s committee is continuing to make those "enormous" production demands "with no regard for the fact that the department answers to more than 70 committees of jurisdiction." The official said DHS has provided more than 20,000 pages of documents responsive to congressional requests since January.
01 Kasım 2023 - 11:10
House Homeland Security Committee subpoenas Mayorkas for records on vetting of Afghan evacuees
The House Homeland Security Committee subpoenaed Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas this week for records related to the vetting process for Afghan evacuees.
01 Kasım 2023 - 11:10