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Democrats subpoena Pompeo for Ukraine documents

The House Foreign Affairs Committee on Friday subpoenaed Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTreasury sanctions Iran's ambassador to Iraq Bipartisan group of senators call on Trump to sanction Russia over Navalny poisoning House lawmakers call for continued assistance to Lebanon MORE for documents relating to the Trump administration's dealings with Ukraine, indicating Democrats are wasting no time diving into the formal impeachment inquiry they launched this week.

The subpoena notice, drafted in consultation with the Intelligence and Oversight and Reform committees, accuses Pompeo of refusing to turn over requested information to Congress amid the Democrats’ nascent investigation into Trump’s interactions with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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"Your continued refusal to provide the requested documents not only prevents our Committees from fully investigating these matters, but impairs Congress' ability to fulfill its Constitutional responsibilities to protect our national security and the integrity of our democracy," wrote Reps. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelOvernight Defense: Trump, Biden set to meet in final debate | Explicit Fort Bragg tweets were sent by account administrator | China threatens retaliation over Taiwan arms sale Is Trump a better choice for Jewish voters than Biden? Overnight Defense: Trump says he's leaving Walter Reed, 'feeling really good' after COVID-19 treatment | White House coronavirus outbreak grows | Dems expand probe into Pompeo speeches MORE (D-N.Y.), head of Foreign Affairs; Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffGreenwald slams Schiff over Biden emails on Fox Hillicon Valley: DOJ accuses Russian hackers of targeting 2018 Olympics, French elections | Federal commission issues recommendations for securing critical tech against Chinese threats | House Democrats slam FCC over 'blatant attempt to help' Trump Federal commission issues recommendations for securing critical tech against Chinese threats MORE (D-Calif.), chairman of the Intelligence panel; and Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene Cummings'Kamala' and 'Kobe' surge in popularity among baby names Women of color flex political might Black GOP candidate accuses Behar of wearing black face in heated interview MORE (D-Md.), who leads the Committee on Oversight and Reform.

The subpoena letter explicitly cited the Democrats’ newly launched impeachment inquiry into Trump, suggesting that party leaders will lean heavily on impeachment as a legal justification for obtaining disputed documents. A failure to produce them, they warned Pompeo, would be evidence of obstruction.

They gave a deadline of one week for the documents. 

“Pursuant to the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry, we are hereby transmitting a subpoena that compels you to produce the documents set forth in the accompanying schedule by October 4, 2019,” the trio of chairmen wrote.

The lawmakers also notified Pompeo in a separate letter that they had scheduled depositions for five State Department officials between Wednesday and Oct. 10. 

Those officials are Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine; Kurt Volker, a former NATO ambassador who is Trump’s special representative for Ukraine negotiations; State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent; State Department counselor T. Ulrich Brechbuhl; and Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union.

Volker resigned from his role in the Trump administration on Friday. If he appears before Congress, he will do so as a private citizen.

The Democratic lawmakers noted that they had previously asked Pompeo for the documents on Sept. 9 and Sept. 23.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump predicts GOP will win the House Hillicon Valley: Five takeaways on new election interference from Iran, Russia | Schumer says briefing on Iranian election interference didn't convince him effort was meant to hurt Trump | Republicans on Senate panel subpoena Facebook, Twitter CEOs | On The Money: Pelosi cites progress, but says COVID-19 relief deal might be post-election | Eviction crisis sparked by pandemic disproportionately hits minorities | Weekly jobless claims fall to 787K MORE (D-Calif.) on Tuesday announced that the House would begin a formal investigation inquiry after a whistleblower claimed that Trump withheld aid from Ukraine in a deliberate effort to pressure its president to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenMore than 300 military family members endorse Biden Five takeaways from the final Trump-Biden debate Biden: 'I would transition from the oil industry' MORE, a 2020 candidate, and his son Hunter Biden.

Trump has denied wrongdoing and slammed the complaint as “fake news”, although a memo of Trump’s call with Zelensky released by the White House showed that Trump encouraged the Ukrainian president to look into Biden.

“There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great," Trump told Zelensky in the July 25 call.

The Hill has reached out to the State Department for comment.