Democrats subpoena Pompeo for Ukraine documents

The House Foreign Affairs Committee on Friday subpoenaed Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoUS to label white supremacist group as terrorist organization for first time Trump administration eyes Afghan security forces funding for aid cut: report Trump says 40,000 Americans have been repatriated who were stranded abroad 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 EngelHillicon Valley: Facebook reports huge spike in usage during pandemic | Democrats push for mail-in voting funds in coronavirus stimulus | Trump delays deadline to acquire REAL ID Lawmakers urge EU to sanction Putin associate for election interference Democrats press Pompeo to help Americans stranded abroad amid coronavirus MORE (D-N.Y.), head of Foreign Affairs; Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffHillicon Valley: Schiff presses intel chief on staff changes | Warren offers plan to secure elections | Twitter's Jack Dorsey to donate B to coronavirus fight | WhatsApp takes steps to counter virus misinformation Schiff calls on DNI Grenell to explain intelligence community changes READ: Schiff plans to investigate Trump firing intel watchdog MORE (D-Calif.), chairman of the Intelligence panel; and Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsMaryland postpones primary over coronavirus fears Maryland governor: 'Simply not enough supplies' on hand to tackle coronavirus Meadows joins White House facing reelection challenges 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 PelosiLawmakers outline proposals for virtual voting Mattis defends Pentagon IG removed by Trump Overnight Health Care: Trump calls report on hospital shortages 'another fake dossier' | Trump weighs freezing funding to WHO | NY sees another 731 deaths | States battle for supplies | McConnell, Schumer headed for clash 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 BidenTrump shakes up WH communications team The Hill's Campaign Report: Wisconsin votes despite coronavirus pandemic The Intercept's Ryan Grim says Cuomo is winning over critics 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.