Pompeo says he sent letter in response to House Democrats’ subpoena

U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said House Democrats' impeachment inquiry is only about politics. Photo by Jemal Countess/UPI

Oct. 6 (UPI) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday said he sent a letter to House Democrats in response to their subpoena for documents related to an impeachment inquiry, though lawmakers’ aides said he missed a Friday deadline to hand over information.

Speaking during a news conference in Athens, the top U.S. diplomat said he gave an “initial response” to the three House committees seeking documentation.

“We’ll obviously do all the things we’re required to do by law,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo traveled to Greece on Friday for two days of meetings with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis Dendias and Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos. His trip comes a week after the chairmen of the House committees on foreign affairs, oversight and reform, and intelligence issued him a subpoena seeking information related to President Donald Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

An aide on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs told The Wall Street Journal that Pompeo missed the Friday deadline to submit the documents.

“However, the State Department has contacted the Committees on this matter and we hope the Department will cooperate in full promptly.”

The July phone call with Zelensky came under scrutiny last month after a whistle-blower in the intelligence community filed a complaint about it with the office of the director of national intelligence.

Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, both said they have encouraged Ukraine to carry out an investigation into Joe Biden. Trump accused the former vice president of pressuring Ukraine to fire former Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, who was investigating Burisma.

Shokin’s successor, Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, told Bloomberg in May that the investigation into the company began before Hunter Biden joined the board, and he wasn’t specifically a target of the probe. Additionally, Bloomberg reported the investigation into Burisma ended more than a year before Joe Biden called for the ouster of Shokin.

Multiple Western countries, including the United States, had called for Shokin’s removal due to allegations of corruption.

Democrats said Trump’s request of Ukraine amounts to asking a foreign country for help winning an election because Joe Biden is running to unseat Trump in the 2020 presidential election. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched an impeachment inquiry Sept. 24 after the White House released a memo detailing the July phone conversation.

Pompeo has resisted House Democrats’ efforts to subpoena him and schedule depositions for five former and current State Department employees. He said the deposition timeline didn’t give the department enough time to prepare for the interviews.

“As for the appropriateness of the investigation, I think it’s very clear, and I don’t want to belabor this … there’s clearly politics involved in this,” he said in Athens.


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