House Democrats say they will subpoena White House for documents

Elias Hubbard
October 3, 2019

Pompeo and Giuliani have been subpoenaed to provide documents.

Democratic leaders put the White House on notice that the wide-ranging subpoena would be coming for information about Trump's actions in the Ukraine controversy, the latest move in an impeachment probe that's testing the Constitution's system of checks and balances.

"The difference between leaking to the news media and going through the formal legal process is that it compels the government to actually do something about it", said Donald Moynihan, a Georgetown University public policy professor who specializes in government administration. He also said Democrats are for the most part united in their belief that the president has to be held accountable.

"In that phone call, the president undermined our national security because of what he had done a few days earlier", Pelosi said.

"We're not fooling around here", Mr Schiff said, adding that Democrats did not want the inquiry to "drag on". "Impeaching the president isn't anything to be joyful about".

"I am concerned with aspects of your request. that can be understood only as an attempt to intimidate, bully and treat improperly the distinguished professionals of the Department of State, including several career Foreign Service Officers, whom the committee is now targeting", Pompeo wrote in a letter to House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y. He said the investigation is proceeding "deliberately" but also with a sense of "urgency". A 53-minute call with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, in which both Trump and the Mexican president spoke through interpreters, included roughly 5,500 words, or about 102 words per minute. Trump has already slammed the impeachment inquiry as a "hoax" and a "coup".

The Trump administration has set a defiant tone, resisting Congress' access to witnesses, even as House Democrats warn such efforts themselves could amount to an impeachable offense.

The State Department is closely caught up in the probe, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirming that he listened in during the Zelensky call. He is said to be eager to tell his side of the story.

Kurt Volker was little known outside of foreign policy circles as the special US envoy to Ukraine until last week, when the whistleblower complaint against President Donald Trump recast the once obscure diplomat as a central figure in the unfolding impeachment inquiry.

The action came as House and Senate staff prepared to meet with the State Department's inspector general on Wednesday. Trump has long pursued those theories, a topic he discussed with Zelenskiy in the phone call that sparked the impeachment inquiry.

And while the U.S. has threatened tariffs on the European Union and criticized key European allies on defense spending, Niinistö said he took up "the importance of trans-Atlantic cooperation" with Trump.

"This country has to find out who that person was, because that person's a spy", the president said.

"It raises more questions than it answers", said Raskin.

During that call, Zelenskiy expressed appreciation for USA defense help and Trump responded by saying, "I would like you to do us a favor though" - and asked the Ukrainian leader to work with Attorney General Bill Barr and Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani on an investigation into the family of former Vice President Joe Biden, Trump's potential rival in the 2020 presidential election.

"This is an exact word-for-word transcript of the conversation, taken by very talented stenographers", Trump said. "He is sick!" Trump tweeted Wednesday.

The whistleblower complaint that helped launch the impeachment storm engulfing Washington is the starkest example yet that Trump has not prevailed. The whistleblower's lawyers said the person had never met or spoken with Schiff about the matter.

Pompeo defended his response to the House committee chairmen, who have suggested that Pompeo's participation in the Trump-Zelenskiy call should require him to recuse himself from decisions on how to deal with Congress.

All officials, except Kent, were named in the whistleblower complaint accusing Trump of "using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 US election".

It requests 13 separate batches of documents related to a July phone call that Trump had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and related matters. Atkinson is the intelligence community watchdog who first received the whistleblower complaint and transmitted it to Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire.

Others have noted the brevity of a document purporting to represent a call that lasted 30 minutes. Sen.

In Russia, Putin said scrutiny over the phone call showed that Trump's adversaries are using "every excuse" to attack him.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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