Three Chairs Send Letter to State Department Demanding Release of Key Documents
Washington, D.C. (Oct. 23, 2019)—Today, Rep. Adam B. Schiff, the Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Rep. Eliot L. Engel, the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the Acting Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, sent a letter to Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan regarding the Department’s failure to comply with a duly authorized congressional subpoena.
“As part of the House of Representatives’ ongoing impeachment inquiry, our Committees have now obtained detailed information identifying specific documents in the possession, custody, or control of the Department of State that are directly and highly relevant to the inquiry,” the Chairs wrote in their letter.
These documents include information central to the inquiry’s core area of investigation: the President’s efforts to press Ukraine to initiate investigations that would benefit his personal and political interests, and not the national interest. These records include, but are not limited to:
- Written readouts and write-ups of meetings and conversations that document activity and conduct under investigation by the Committees;
- Email correspondence that pertains directly to matters under investigation that occurred both before and after President Trump’s July 25, 2019, call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky;
- Diplomatic cables that relate, among other issues, to the President’s decision to withhold vital military aid to Ukraine and document interactions with Ukrainian officials about matters under investigation;
- Text messages and electronic communications, including from personal devices, from witnesses in the inquiry; and
- Memoranda to file drafted by Department officials, including memoranda that document efforts to press Ukraine to initiate politically-motivated investigations to benefit President Trump and that raise concerns about false representations by the Department to the Committees and that document efforts to intimidate or silence employees.
“The Committees consider the refusal to comply with a duly authorized congressional subpoena as obstruction of the lawful functions of Congress and of the impeachment inquiry. Because the Committees have gathered evidence about the direct relevance of these documents, including highly significant information contained in these materials that pertain to allegations that the President abused the power of his office for personal political benefit, the Committees may draw the inference that their nonproduction indicates that these documents support the allegations against the President and others.”