WASHINGTON (AP) — The Speaker of the House of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday he has subpoenaed the State Department for classified documents that could indicate whether the United States deviated from its sanctions plans against China after a Chinese surveillance balloon flew through sensitive military sites across North America.
Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said he subpoenaed the department’s “competitive actions” timelines, a classified list of actions the Biden administration has planned to counter China’s aggression, including sanctions and export controls against Chinese companies like tech giant Huawei.
McCaul had asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken to voluntarily turn over the documents in May and accused the State Department of refusing to use on-the-ball sanctions in favor of continued engagement with the Chinese government. He said the department did not comply.
“Given the State Department’s continued refusal to comply with my committee’s urgent request for critical information regarding China, I have no choice but to issue a subpoena,” McCaul said in the statement. a statement.
McCaul launched a series of investigations into the State Department, including for classified diplomatic cables on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and allegations that the Biden administration’s special envoy for Iran, Rob Malley, may have mishandled classified information.
In February, the US military shot down the alleged Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast after passing through sensitive military sites. The Biden administration, citing footage from the U.S. U-2 spy plains, said the balloon was equipped to detect and collect intelligence signals as part of an extensive military-linked aerial surveillance program that targeted more than 40 countries.
China insisted the overflight was an accident involving civilian aircraft and threatened repercussions.