Democrats subpoena Pompeo for Ukraine documents

The House Foreign Affairs Committee on Friday subpoenaed Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard Pompeo2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Netanyahu calls Trump administration reversal on Israeli settlements a 'huge achievement' UN pushes back on US reversal on Israeli settlements 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 EngelMaloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman Overnight Defense: Protests at Trump's NYC Veterans Day speech | House Dems release Pentagon official's deposition transcript | Lawmakers ask Trump to rescind Erdogan invite Bipartisan House members call on Trump to rescind Erdoğan invitation MORE (D-N.Y.), head of Foreign Affairs; Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffFive things to know about Tuesday's impeachment hearings Nunes complains Democrats adding extra time for questioning witnesses Volker says he rejected Biden 'conspiracy theory' pushed by Giuliani MORE (D-Calif.), chairman of the Intelligence panel; and Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsMaloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman House passes stopgap as spending talks stall Stopgap government funding measure includes census money, military pay raise 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 PelosiOvernight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul Five things to know about Tuesday's impeachment hearings McConnell hopes Senate impeachment trial 'not too lengthy a process' 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 Biden2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Trump calls latest impeachment hearings 'a great day for Republicans' Overnight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul 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.