House Dems Subpoena Pompeo, Threaten Obstruction Charges

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attends a lunch hosted by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi with his counterparts of the permanent five veto-wielding members of the U.N. Security Council in New York, U.S., September 26, 2019. REUTERS/Yana Paskova
September 27, 2019 Topic: Politics Region: Americas Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: UkraineObstructionImpeachmentHouse DemocratsMike Pompeo

House Dems Subpoena Pompeo, Threaten Obstruction Charges

The Ukraine fight is getting heated.

The Democratic chairmen of three House committees on Friday subpoenaed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and demanded depositions with five State Department officials as part of an impeachment investigation involving a whistleblower complaint against President Donald Trump.

“The Committees are investigating the extent to which President Trump jeopardized national security by pressing Ukraine to interfere with our 2020 election and by withholding security assistance provided by Congress to help Ukraine counter Russian aggression,” Reps. Eliot Engel, Adam Schiff, and Elijah Cummings wrote in a letter to Pompeo.

The three Democrats, who chair the House Foreign Affairs, House Intelligence, and House Oversight & Reform Committees, respectively, first requested documents from Pompeo on Sept. 9 related to a whistleblower complaint filed on Aug. 12.

They threatened Pompeo with obstruction charges if he does not comply with the subpoena by Oct. 4.

In the complaint, a CIA analyst detailed to the White House claimed that multiple White House officials expressed concerns about a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The complaint, which was released Thursday, alleged that White House officials tried to cover up a transcript of the phone call because of Trump’s remarks to Zelensky.

Trump has denied saying anything wrong in the call, a transcript of which the White House released on Wednesday. In a 30-minute chat, Trump and Zelensky discussed a broad array of topics, including Zelensky’s recent election win, U.S. support for Ukraine, and an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

Trump brought up allegations that originated with his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, that as vice president in 2016, Joe Biden forced Ukraine’s president at the time to fire a prosecutor who was investigating a company affiliated with Hunter Biden.

Trump urged Zelensky to speak with Giuliani about the Bidens. Giuliani has relied on State Department officials to arrange meetings with Zelensky advisers. One official, Kurt Volker, reportedly met with Giuliani a day after Trump’s call with Zelensky.

Volker is one of the five officials who Democrats hope to depose.

The others are Amb. Gordon Sondland, State Department counselor T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, a close Pompeo adviser, State Department deputy assistant secretary George Kent, and Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine.

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Image: Reuters.