GOP senator expands probe into Pentagon's $43M Afghan gas station

GOP senator expands probe into Pentagon's $43M Afghan gas station

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyTrump puts trade back on 2020 agenda McConnell goes hands-off on coronavirus relief bill GOP chairmen hit back at accusation they are spreading disinformation with Biden probe MORE (R-Iowa) is expanding his inquiry into a Pentagon task force that spent $43 million building a compressed natural gas station in Afghanistan.

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee now wants records on all of the task force's projects in the country.

“I believe that, given DoD’s [the Defense Department] decision to impede SIGAR’s access to task force documents, a full review of all TFBSO activities in Afghanistan is necessary,” Grassley wrote in a letter to Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Tuesday.

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At issue is a Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction report released last week that found a Task Force for Stability and Business Operations project to build a natural gas station cost 140 times more than it should have.

The report also slammed the Pentagon for impeding the investigation. The Pentagon told the special inspector that documents and personnel that could answer questions weren’t available since the task force disbanded in March.

After the report’s release, Grassley wrote to Carter asking him to provide the special inspector general with all relevant information on the station.

Grassley’s latest letter now also asks Carter to provide the Senate Judiciary Committee office with all records on the task force’s activities in Afghanistan.

“State Department and US Agency for International Development officials said they wouldn’t consider continuing TFBSO programs because they were ‘liabilities due to safety concerns, lack of sustainability, and other problems,’” Grassley wrote, quoting a different SIGAR report. “This raises serious questions about TFBSO’s use of taxpayer dollars.” 

According to the letter, some documents are saved on a hard drive, which Grassley wants a complete copy of within 48 hours. He is asking for any other documents not on the hard drive by the end of the month.