Perry won't comply with subpoena in impeachment inquiry

Outgoing 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 will not comply with a House subpoena to turn over documents tied to his involvement with Ukraine, the Department of Energy wrote in a letter to Democratic lawmakers.

The letter referred to the Democrats' "impeachment inquiry" in quotes, saying the look into President TrumpDonald John TrumpMnuchin knocks Greta Thunberg's activism: Study economics and then 'come back' to us The Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial MORE's interactions with Ukraine was not valid.

“As the Supreme Court has long recognized, a Congressional committee cannot exercise the investigative power of the full House of Representatives unless it has that power through proper delegation,” the letter said. 

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Perry, alongside former special envoy Kurt VolkerKurt VolkerGOP rejects effort to compel documents on delayed Ukraine aid GOP chairmen seek interview with Obama officials as part of Biden-Ukraine probe Push to investigate Bidens sets up potential for Senate turf war MORE and U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, took over interactions with Ukraine, according to House Democrat Rep. Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyTrump, Democrats set for brawl on Iran war powers 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 Democrats 'utterly unpersuaded' by evidence behind Soleimani strike MORE (D-Va.) this week.

Trump is facing an impeachment inquiry over his request that Ukraine investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial Sanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden MORE, a potential 2020 rival, and whether there was a "quid pro quo" that tied investigations with the disbursement of military aid.

House Democrats wanted more information about Perry’s role in dealing with Ukraine. 

“Recently, public reports have raised questions about any role you may have played in conveying or reinforcing the President’s stark message to the Ukrainian President,” the chairmen of the three committees leading the House inquiry wrote to Perry earlier this month, giving him until Friday to comply.

Perry denied any wrongdoing in an interview with Fox News Friday morning to discuss his departure from the department

“There was no quid pro quo in the sense of what those folks out there would like for it to be,” Perry told Fox’s Bill Hemmer. “That we’re [not] going to give you this money unless you investigate Joe Biden and his son. I never heard that said, anywhere, anytime, in any conversation.”

Perry said his goal was to “get Ukraine back in the sphere of influence in the United States” and acknowledged there were conditions to U.S. help such as improved transparency.

“They have to do some things. They have to show us they're going to respect the rule of law, you're going to be transparent, they're going to unbundle their midstream gas company. All of those things were part of him coming in. And I think that's completely and absolutely legitimate. That's what we're supposed to be doing,” Perry said.

Perry repeatedly stressed he would follow the advice of the agency's counsel, which in Friday’s letter argued that Perry’s communications would be covered under executive privilege.