Pompeo subpoenaed by House Democrats over Trump-Ukraine scandal

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks in Washington on April 22, 2019. Copyright Andrew Caballero-Reynolds AFP - Getty Images file
By Dartunorro Clark with NBC News Politics
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The committee chairmen also sent a separate letter to Pompeo to schedule the depositions of five State Department officials over the next two weeks.


Three top Democratic chairmen on Friday subpoenaed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to turn over documents related to the growing Ukraine scandal involving President Donald Trump urging the country to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel of New York, Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff of California, and Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings of Maryland wrote a letter demanding Pompeo turn over documents related to Trump's July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, which took place days after Trump withheld already approved aid to the country.

"The Committees are investigating the extent to which President Trump jeopardized national security by pressing Ukraine to interfere with our 2020 election and by withholding security assistance provided by Congress to help Ukraine counter Russian aggression," the chairmen wrote.

"The subpoenaed documents shall be part of the impeachment inquiry and shared among the Committees," they wrote, setting a deadline of Oct. 4 for Pompeo to produce the documents. "Your failure or refusal to comply with the subpoena shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House's impeachment inquiry."

On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry into the president, saying the scandal marked a "breach of his Constitutional responsibilities." And on Wednesday, the White House released a detailed description of the July 25 phone call between Trumpand Zelenskiy, reconstructed from the notes of those who heard the call,after mounting pressure from Democrats.

The description showed Trump asked Zelenskiy to look into why Ukraine's former top prosecutor ended an investigationinto Biden's son, Hunter, who served on the board of a gas company there. Trump noted on the call that the the then-vice president "went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it."

The chairmen of those committees previously requested documents related to the call, pressuring the president to release information on his efforts to get Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and his administration's apparent efforts to withhold approved aid to the country.

"The Committees are conducting this investigation in an expeditious, coordinated manner. The Inspector General of the Intelligence Community has determined that the whistleblower complaint raises a matter of 'urgent concern,' is 'credible,' and 'relates to one of the most significant and important of the DNI's responsibilities to the American people': our free and fair elections," the chairmen wrote in their letter on Friday.

The committee chairmen also sent a separate letter to Pompeo to schedule the depositions of five State Department officials over the next two weeks.

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the subpoena.

Pompeo told reporters on Thursday in a press conference at the U.N. General Assembly that his agency acted appropriately in its interactions with Ukraine.

"To the best of my knowledge, and what I've seen so far, each of the actions that were undertaken by State Department were entirely appropriate and consistent with the objective that we've had certainly since this new government has come into office," he said.

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