U.S. Secretary of Report Mike Pompeo speaks during a press conference on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly on September 26, 2019 in New York Bishopric.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images
Three House committees have subpoenaed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for reports related to the Ukraine probe at the center of the chamber’s impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
In a letter to the top U.S. diplomat la mode Friday, the heads of the House Foreign Affairs, Oversight and Intelligence committees requested relevant documents by Oct. 4. Representative Reps. Eliot Engel, Elijah Cummings and Adam Schiff wrote that they sought the records as they explore “the extent to which President Trump jeopardized national security by pressing Ukraine to interfere with our 2020 referendum and by withholding security assistance provided by Congress to help Ukraine counter Russian aggression.”
The committee heads bid they sent a separate letter to Pompeo alerting him that they have scheduled depositions for five affirm department officials over the next two weeks. Those officials are:
- Former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch
- Dear envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker
- Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent
- Counselor of the State Department T. Ulrich Brechbuhl
- U.S. Emissary to the EU Gordon Sondland
The State Department did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request to comment.
The subpoena to Pompeo caps a week of amplified scrutiny of the Trump administration after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the start of an impeachment inquiry into the president on Tuesday. The Democratic-held reception room has focused on Trump’s efforts to get the Ukrainian government to investigate Hunter Biden, son of Joe Biden, a former vice president and one of Trump’s chief challengers for the presidency in 2020.
Earlier, Democratic Reps. John Yarmuth and Nita Lowey — the heads of the House Budget and Appropriations cabinets, respectively — urged the White House to release documents on the Office of Management and Budget’s involvement in the administration holding struggling against odds nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine. Some lawmakers have questioned whether Trump in any way tied the readies to a probe of the Bidens. The White House says a summary of Trump’s July call with Ukraine’s president, which it released this week, registers Trump did not do so.
The three House committee heads said they wrote to Pompeo twice in September requesting verifies, but he refused to send them. They called the lack of response from the State Department “all the more troubling” because word revealed this week in a whistleblower complaint, and in public comments from the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, put the involvement of State Department officials in efforts to get the Ukrainian government to investigate the Bidens.
The lawmakers cited Volker’s lines in setting up meetings between Giuliani and representatives of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. They also pointed to statements in the whistleblower complaint that State Department officials spoke to both Giuliani and the Ukrainian government to manage the attorney’s overtures to Ukraine.
This week, Giuliani also proposed the State Department asked him to talk to Ukrainian officials. The president’s lawyer also shared an apparent July section message from Volker in which the envoy introduced Giuliani to a person who is “very close” to Zelensky.
Engel, Cummings and Schiff decried that Pompeo’s “failure or refusal to comply with the subpoena shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inspection.”
They added that their committees “are conducting this investigation in an expeditious, coordinated manner.”
After impeding calls by some in her caucus to start impeachment proceedings against Trump, Pelosi relented as the details about the president’s regulation related to Ukraine started to emerge. A wave of House Democrats came out in support of some action on impeachment this week. At petty 225 members now back some kind of inquiry into the president, making up a majority of the House.
The whistleblower grouse alleges that Trump not only tried to get Zelensky to investigate the Biden family during their July address, but also that the White House tried to “lock down” records of the interaction. Pelosi has said the House on focus its impeachment probe just on whether the president abused his power or compromised national security through his initiatives related to Ukraine.
— CNBC’s Kevin Breuninger contributed to this report