House Republicans want answers on whether exiled Afghan president embezzled $169M in cash

Thousand of Americans and allies still trapped in Afghanistan

Senior foreign affairs correspondent Greg Palkot on Afghans being trapped in Taliban-controlled land.

EXCLUSIVE: Afghanistan’s exiled President Ashraf Ghani must be brought to justice and face criminal charges of embezzlement if he indeed fled the besieged country with duffle bags full of cash intended for the Afghan people, according to House Oversight Committee Republicans.

Ghani hastily abandoned Afghanistan earlier this month as the Taliban marched to power. He turned up in the United Arab Emirates, which accepted the president on humanitarian grounds. 

House Republicans are raising alarms over news reports that Ghani left Afghanistan with “duffle bags full of cash totaling $169 million.” 

In a letter obtained first by Fox News to Attorney General Merrick Garland, the lawmakers cite reports that “Ghani in fact had so much looted money with him when he fled Afghanistan that not all of it would fit in his helicopter and that he was forced to leave money lying on the tarmac.”

Rep. James Comer, the top Republican on the Oversight Committee, and Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis., sent letters Tuesday to both Garland and Secretary of State Antony Blinken asking for a briefing no later than Aug. 31 on whether Ghani is in possession of U.S. taxpayer dollars and whether the U.S. government is seeking criminal charges against him. 

“If true, this was not the dignified exit of a benevolent head of state, but that of a coward and grifter,” the lawmakers wrote to Blinken in a letter first obtained by Fox News. “The United States must do everything in its power to seize any illicitly gained funds that were corruptly embezzled by President Ghani. If he diverted funds from their intended purposes, the U.S. should bring him to justice.”

Oversight GOP Letter to Bli… by Fox News

The lawmakers say corrupt foreign government officials cannot be permitted to personally enrich themselves with American money destined to safeguard the Afghan people. 

“This is particularly the case where President Ghani’s reckless and cowardly actions likely contributed to the speed with which the Taliban took over the country and toppled the Afghan government,” they wrote. 


For his part, Ghani has denied running away with millions of dollars in cash. In a video clip from the United Arab Emirates, Ghani claimed he left with the clothes on his back to prevent bloodshed. 

“I was forced to leave Afghanistan with one set of traditional clothes, a vest and the sandals I was wearing,” Ghani said. 

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