The situation as it is right now, where Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is refusing House impeachment inquiry depositions for several members of his staff, is untenable both legally and politically, and everyone knows it. There's two fronts Pompeo is now fighting on, first, he's facing an internal revolt from his own State Department staffers.
The State Department’s inspector general is expected to give an "urgent" briefing to staffers from several House and Senate committees on Wednesday afternoon about documents obtained from the department’s Office of the Legal Adviser related to the State Department and Ukraine, sources familiar with the planned briefing told ABC News.
Details of the briefing, requested by Steve Linick, the inspector general at State, remain unknown. Linick is expected to meet with congressional staff in a secure location on Capitol Hill.
The unusual nature and timing of the briefing – during a congressional recess – suggests it may be connected to a recent intelligence community whistleblower allegation which describes, in part, the State Department’s role in coordinating interactions between Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, and Ukrainian officials.
The inspector general is the department's internal investigator and watchdog, and the office generally operates independently of the department's political leadership.
Once again, this is the State Department's inspector general, going over Pompeo's head to brief Congress on Ukraine, an issue the IG says is "urgent". You'd better believe this is the IG going to House Dems to give them the information they've requested from Pompeo's staff about the Ukraine mess. It's going to be amazing when whatever info he has leaks.
The second front is from House Dems themselves.
House Democrats accelerated their impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s interactions with Ukraine’s president, issuing a subpoena that seeks documents from his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has until the end of the week to turn over documents subpoenaed by three House committees. Pompeo was among those listening in on Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Three Democratic House chairmen turned up the heat on Pompeo -- warning him of possible criminal charges -- after he rejected a plan by their committees to take testimony from five State Department officials starting Wednesday.
In a letter on Tuesday night, Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, Oversight & Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings and Eliot Engel, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee said Pompeo “appears to have an obvious conflict of interest” because he listened to the call.
If that’s the case, the chairmen wrote, “he should not be making any decisions regarding witness testimony or document production in order to protect himself or the president.”
The lawmakers said that State Department officials who interfere with congressional inquiries could face criminal charges or the withholding of their salaries.
There's that inherent contempt. Sort of, the letter doesn't mention it, and if the Dems are counting on Bill Barr to prosecute, they're insane. I hope this means inherent contempt.