As expected, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the State Department will not cooperate with House impeachment inquiry depositions this week.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo fired a broadside at House Democrats on Tuesday, saying State Department officials scheduled to appear this week before committees conducting the impeachment inquiry would not be made available until “we obtain further clarity on these matters.”
The refusal, in a letter to House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.), described the demand for depositions by five officials who played a role in U.S. relations with Ukraine as “an attempt to intimidate, bully, and treat improperly, the distinguished professionals of the Department of State.”
A spokesman for the committee had no immediate comment.
The statements came as Pompeo’s role in the Ukraine investigation broadened with reports that he was a participant in the July 25 call by President Trump to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, which led to the impeachment investigation.
Before that report, first published by The Wall Street Journal, Pompeo had brushed off questions about the incident, saying last week that he had not yet read the transcript of the telephone call released by the White House, or the whistleblower complaint that it sparked.
The committee, along with the House Intelligence and Oversight panels, had requested the five officials to appear for depositions this week and next, to begin Wednesday with Marie Yovanovitch, who was recalled by Pompeo as ambassador to Ukraine in May, prior to the end of her tour.
Other State Department officials scheduled for depositions include Kurt Volker, the administration’s special envoy to Ukraine, who resigned last week; Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent; U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland; and State Department Counselor T. Ulrich Brechbuhl.
Well, ball's in your court, House Democrats. The response sure as hell better involve the words "inherent contempt". And yes, it warrants that response because this is obstruction of justice, pure and simple.
It seems to me that Pompeo wants to have a long-drawn out court fight over this to buy the Trump regime some time, but again, the response needs to be painful enough to motivate Pompeo to comply sooner rather than later.
We'll see what happens.