National Security

Democrats threaten to subpoena Pompeo over information related to Giuliani contacts with Ukraine

Three House committees on Monday threatened to subpoena Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to compel him to turn over documents related to contacts between President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Ukrainian officials.

The move by the Intelligence, Oversight and Reform, and Foreign Affairs committees marks an escalation in their battle with the Trump administration over reports Giuliani sought to pressure Ukraine’s leaders to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. 

{mosads}Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), and Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said Pompeo must inform their committees by Thursday as to whether he intends to comply with their requests, or face subpoenas. 

“Seeking to enlist a foreign actor to interfere with an American election undermines our sovereignty, democracy, and the Constitution, which the President is sworn to preserve, protect, and defend,” the chairmen wrote.

“Yet the President and his personal attorney now appear to be openly engaging in precisely this type of abuse of power involving the Ukrainian government ahead of the 2020 election,” they continue.

The threat to subpoena comes amid growing concern that Trump and his personal lawyer have sought to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open a corruption investigation into Biden, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, ahead of 2020.

Trump and Giuliani have both acknowledged speaking to Ukrainian officials about Biden, but they argue the former vice president must be investigated to see if he sought to remove a Ukrainian prosecutor in order to protect his son for facing investigation.

Democrats on the other hand say this is a sign this White House is willing to recruit a foreign power to interfere in the 2020 election.

Democrats are also locked in a battle with acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire over a whistleblower complaint that is reported to be about Trump’s contacts with Ukraine about Biden.

The deadline the three chairs set, Thursday, is the same day Maguire is slated to testify about why he has decided against sharing the complaint with Congress, despite an intelligence community watchdog deeming the complaint both urgent and credible.

Democrats, who initially requested six categories of documents from Pompeo earlier this month, asked for the information to be provided to the committees last week, but that deadline was missed.

They are eager to review information related to the phone call between Trump and Zelensky in late July, including any transcripts from the phone call, the suspension of security aide to Ukraine and any other documents related to these matters that relate to Biden, Giuliani and the request for an investigation.

“The Department has admitted that at least one of Pompeo’s senior staff played a direct role in arranging meetings between Giuliani and Ukrainian officials just days after President Trump’s call with the Ukrainian President on July 25, and press reports indicate that Giuliani personally debriefed two senior State Department officials about his meetings,” according to Democrats’ press release on the matter.

“If press reports are accurate, such corrupt use of presidential power for the President’s personal political interest—and not for the national interest—is a betrayal of the President’s oath of office and cannot go unchecked,” the chairmen’s joint statement continued. 

Tags Adam Schiff Donald Trump Elijah Cummings Eliot Engel Joe Biden Mike Pompeo Rudy Giuliani

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