The United States and India on Wednesday agreed to grow defense and technology ties as Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoObama looks to give new momentum to McAuliffe The CIA's next mission: Strategic competition with China and Russia Biden, Trump tied in potential 2024 match-up: poll MORE said "the noise and the silliness" of impeachment proceedings would not distract the Trump administration from protecting the country.
“The world should know that despite all the noise, the chaos, the media asking questions that are completely unrelated to the reason that we’re here today, that the leaders of our two nations are working diligently to protect the American people, to develop a relationship that’s important strategically for the coming decades between the United States and India,” Pompeo said alongside Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperThree key behind-the-scenes figures in Jan. 6 probe Trump Defense chief blocked idea to send 250,000 troops to border: report Overnight Defense & National Security — Afghanistan concerns center stage with G-20 MORE at the State Department.
The two appeared alongside their Indian counterparts after the four officials met for security talks, the same day the House debated articles of impeachment against President TrumpDonald TrumpSix big off-year elections you might be missing Twitter suspends GOP Rep. Banks for misgendering trans health official Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' MORE. The House is expected to vote in favor of the two articles later in the day, which would set up a Senate trial.
Pompeo added that the four officials “worked really hard on important things for the United States of America. We were intently focused on that. ... We won’t let the noise and the silliness here in Washington, D.C., distract us from that.”
Pompeo had been asked whether he plans to participate in the proceedings if impeachment goes forward to the Senate.
He replied that he would be happy to provide documents and testify “if that’s appropriate and required by law.”
"My participation will continue to be precisely that which the law requires," Pompeo said. "The State Department's done the same thing all the way through, and we will continue to do so."
The State Department, however, has not given any documents that impeachment investigators have requested, and department officials testified only under subpoena.
Esper and Pompeo also said at the start of the meeting that Washington and New Delhi plan to increase defense cooperation through increased troop levels in joint military exercises.
While the Trump administration grapples with the impeachment proceedings, the Indian government has experienced widespread protests over a new law that grants citizenship on the basis of religion, giving a way for Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and members of certain other religious groups to become citizens but not Muslims.