Democrats subpoena Pompeo for Ukraine documents

The House Foreign Affairs Committee on Friday subpoenaed Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoSenate Dems to Pompeo: Comments about NPR reporter 'insulting and contemptuous' Washington Post: Pompeo 'gaslighting' NPR reporter Pompeo lashes out at 'shameful' NPR reporter 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

"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 EngelUS officials, world leaders arrive in Israel for World Holocaust Forum  House Democrats may call new impeachment witnesses if Senate doesn't Overnight Defense: Book says Trump called military leaders 'dopes and babies' | House reinvites Pompeo for Iran hearing | Dems urge Esper to reject border wall funding request MORE (D-N.Y.), head of Foreign Affairs; Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for week two of impeachment trial Trump defense team signals focus on Schiff Schiff pushes back: Defense team knows Trump is guilty MORE (D-Calif.), chairman of the Intelligence panel; and Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsBaltimore unveils plaques for courthouse to be named after Elijah Cummings GOP leaders encourage retiring lawmakers to give up committee posts Pelosi taps Virginia Democrat for key post on economic panel 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 PelosiClinton says Zuckerberg has 'authoritarian' views on misinformation Trump defense team signals focus on Schiff Trump legal team offers brisk opening defense of president 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 BidenDes Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters George Conway: Witness missing from impeachment trial is Trump 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.