Energy Secretary Rick Perry expected to resign next month: report

Energy Secretary Rick PerryRick PerryTrump: Senate should decide on witnesses; Bolton testimony poses national security risk Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial Parnas pressure grows on Senate GOP MORE is expected to announce his resignation next month, Politico reported Thursday night.

Three sources close to Perry told the newspaper that the Energy secretary was planning an announcement in November. 

The report of Perry's expected resignation comes days after the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee sent questions to Perry related to his travel to Ukraine amid scrutiny of the Trump administration's dealings with the country.

The Energy secretary traveled to Ukraine in May for the inauguration of the country's new president, Volodymyr Zelesnky, whose contacts with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE are now at the center of House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

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Sources close to Perry claimed to Politico that his resignation would be unrelated to scrutiny over Trump's dealings with Ukraine. 

Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette is expected to lead the department as Perry's replacement, the three sources told Politico.

A spokeswoman for the Energy Department declined to say if Perry would resign next month, instead rebuking the media for past reports about Perry's expected departure.

“While the Beltway media has breathlessly reported on rumors of Secretary Perry's departure for months, he is still the Secretary of Energy and a proud member of President Trump’s Cabinet. One day the media will be right. Today is not that day,” Shaylyn Hynes told Politico.

A White House official also pushed back in an email Friday afternoon, telling The Hill that rumors of Perry's resignation were incorrect.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezMedia's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle Dem senators say Iran threat to embassies not mentioned in intelligence briefing Overnight Defense: Iran crisis eases as Trump says Tehran 'standing down' | Dems unconvinced on evidence behind Soleimani strike | House sets Thursday vote on Iran war powers MORE (D-N.J.) wrote to Perry on Tuesday, requesting information from the Energy secretary on his May trip to Ukraine.

"Given your role as the leader of the official United States delegation to the inauguration, and the White House’s recent release of evidence that President Trump requested that Ukraine’s government investigate his domestic political opponent, your insight into the U.S. delegation’s trip is of particular interest to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee," the senator wrote.