Pompeo subpoenaed by House Democrats in impeachment inquiry

Billy House

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo was subpoenaed for documents related to the Ukraine whistle-blower complaint by three House committees as part of Democrats’ impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump.

“Your failure or refusal to comply with the subpoena shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House impeachment inquiry,” the chairmen of the House committees on Foreign Affairs, Oversight and Intelligence wrote in a letter to Pompeo on Friday. They gave a deadline of Oct. 4.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The move is the first concrete step to advance the impeachment inquiry announced this week by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after the whistle-blower complaint accused Trump of pressuring Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to dig up political dirt on potential 2020 Democratic rival Joe Biden. White House officials sought to “lock down” records of Trump’s call with Zelenskiy, the complaint said.

The State Department previously missed two deadlines to turn over the documents, prompting Friday’s subpoena. There was no immediate response from the White House or State Department.

The committees also requested that five other State Department officials testify over the next two weeks, starting on Wednesday. The chairmen said in a separate letter to Pompeo that didn’t comply with earlier requests to produce the officials for testimony.

“We are working on potential hearings, potential depositions,” Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said before the subpoenas were issued. “We will move as expeditiously as possible but we have to see what witnesses are going to make themselves available and what witnesses are going to require compulsion.”

The officials being sought for testimony are Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine; Kurt Volker, the current U.S. special representative to Ukraine; T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, a State Department counselor cited in the whistle-blower complaint; George Kent, deputy assistant secretary, and Gordon Sondland, envoy to the European Union.

The subpoenas were transmitted to Pompeo by Schiff, Foreign Affairs Chairman Elijah Cummings and Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings.

“The subpoenaed documents shall be part of the impeachment inquiry and shared among the committees,” the chairmen said.

Among the documents demanded by the committees are those related to Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a list of State Department officials who participated in or got a readout of the call, all records referring to Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, information about the suspension of U.S. aid to Ukraine.