Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday wrote a letter to the House Foreign Affairs Committee declaring that Democrats are attempting to “intimidate” State Department officials and calling their scheduled depositions related to an impeachment inquiry “not feasible.”
I’m concerned with aspects of the Committee’s request that can be understood only as an attempt to intimidate, bully, & treat improperly the distinguished professionals of the Department of State, including several career FSOs. pic.twitter.com/QRtMaXlhQM
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) October 1, 2019
Three House committees have scheduled depositions with five current and former State Department officials over the next two weeks, including former ambassador to Ukraine Marie “Masha” Yovanovitch and Kurt Volker, the Ukrainian envoy who resigned last week.
The chairmen of the House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, and Oversight committees set an October 4th deadline for Pompeo to produce documents related to their investigation of President Donald Trump’s interactions with Ukraine. The investigations are part of a formal impeachment inquiry sparked by a partisan CIA officer, who in a so-called “whistleblower” complaint alleged the president attempted to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President and 2020 White House contender Joe Biden.
As Breitbart News reported earlier this year, Biden forced out former Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin as he was investigating an energy company called Burisma Holdings, which was paying Biden handsomely as a member of its board. The former vice president even boasted to the Council of Foreign Relations last year that he had threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid unless the prosecutor was fired. (He did not tell the audience about his son’s role.) Conservatives claim Biden obstructed justice to protect his son — who enriched himself using his father’s prestige.
President Trump and Zelensky have denied any pressure to look into the Biden family was applied and the White House, in a nod to transparency, released the transcript of leaders’ July 25th conversation last week.
“I think you read everything. I think you read text. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be involved to democratic open elections, elections of USA. No, sure, we had I think good phone call. It was normal. We spoke about many things, and I — so I think and you read it that nobody pushed me,” Zelensky, flanked by Trump, told reporters at the United Nations in New York City last week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.