Three Committees Threaten Subpoenas This Week If Administration Refuses to Produce Documents on Ukraine
Washington, D.C. (Sept. 23, 2019)—Today, Rep. Eliot L. Engel, the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Rep. Adam Schiff, the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, sent a letter demanding that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo immediately begin producing documents the State Department has been withholding in response to a letter the Chairmen sent two weeks ago relating to efforts by the President and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to solicit the help of a foreign power to interfere in the 2020 Presidential Election.
The Chairmen directed Pompeo to inform the Committees by Thursday whether he intends to fully comply with these requests or whether subpoenas will be necessary.
“Seeking to enlist a foreign actor to interfere with an American election undermines our sovereignty, democracy, and the Constitution, which the President is sworn to preserve, protect, and defend. Yet the President and his personal attorney now appear to be openly engaging in precisely this type of abuse of power involving the Ukrainian government ahead of the 2020 election,” the Chairmen wrote.
The Chairmen first sent a letter to Pompeo on September 9, 2019, requesting six categories of documents relating to reports that Giuliani pressed the Ukrainian government to interfere with the upcoming election by pursuing investigations that could benefit President Trump politically.
“If press reports are accurate, such corrupt use of presidential power for the President’s personal political interest—and not for the national interest—is a betrayal of the President’s oath of office and cannot go unchecked,” the Chairmen wrote.
The Department has admitted that at least one of Pompeo’s senior staff played a direct role in arranging meetings between Giuliani and Ukrainian officials just days after President Trump’s call with the Ukrainian President on July 25, and press reports indicate that Giuliani personally debriefed two senior State Department officials about his meetings. Press reports also describe career experts, including at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, who “repeatedly expressed concerns about the contacts between Giuliani and Ukrainian officials.”
“By withholding these documents and refusing to engage with the Committees, the Trump Administration is obstructing Congress’ oversight duty under the Constitution to protect our nation’s democratic process. Due to the urgent and grave nature of these allegations, our Committees will have no choice but to move towards compulsory process this week unless the Department produces the documents we have requested,” the Chairmen wrote.
Click here to read the full letter.