Rep. McCaul on contempt proceedings for Secretary Blinken: 'I am prepared to move forward'

The House committee chairman addressed the issue on "This Week."

May 14, 2023, 1:11 PM

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said Sunday the House Committee on Foreign Affairs will continue to pursue contempt charges for Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Congress subpoenaed Blinken to turn over the dissent cable regarding the withdrawal of American personnel in 2021.

"I am prepared to move forward to contempt proceedings," McCaul, the committee's chairman, told ABC "This Week" co-anchor Jonathan Karl. "This would be the first time a secretary of state has ever been held in contempt by Congress and it's criminal contempt, so I don't take it lightly."

If Blinken is held in contempt, his case would be turned over to the Department of Justice, however it is unlikely the Biden DOJ would prosecute Blinken.

Karl also pressed McCaul on the recent expiration of Title 42 and its impact on border security. Officials expected a surge at the border following the end of this policy, one that called for the expulsion of illegal migrants at the border. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas told "This Week" on Sunday that encounters at the border have dropped significantly since Title 42's expiration.

"We’ve actually seen a 50% drop in encounters at the border compared to the days before Title 42 ended," Mayorkas said. "Why? We’ve been preparing for this and are executing."

When asked for a response to the secretary’s statement, McCaul said this should have happened sooner.

"Why did it take him so long?" McCaul said. "I mean, I told him from day one, you can call it whatever you want, but the migrant protection protocols were working."

McCaul also said there could be room for a bipartisan bill on border security but he recognized that the recent GOP proposal on border security will not pass in the Senate. The proposal calls for the reconstruction of Trump’s border wall and the reinstatement of the "Remain in Mexico" policy.

"I'm still hopeful that there are rational Democrats out there who will work with us on some of these provisions," McCaul said.

House Republicans recently passed a bill that would raise the nation's debt limit and cut spending in certain areas. Experts have warned that a national default could occur as early as June 1 if no deal is struck.

"How concerned are you that we’re heading toward a default?" Karl asked.

"I think defaulting on our full faith and credit, any financial person will tell you it's very catastrophic," McCaul responded. "They said [Republicans] couldn’t govern, we got a border bill passed."