Pompeo subpoenaed by House Democrats over Trump-Ukraine scandal

The committee chairmen also sent a separate letter to Pompeo to schedule the depositions of five State Department officials over the next two weeks.

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By Dartunorro Clark

Three top Democratic House chairmen on Friday subpoenaed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to turn over documents related to the House's impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

The three chairmen — Reps. Eliot Engel of the Foreign Affairs Committee; Adam Schiff of the Intelligence Committee; and Elijah Cummings of the Oversight Committee — wrote a letter demanding that Pompeo turn over documents related to Trump's July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy by Oct. 4.

"Your failure or refusal to comply with the subpoena shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry," they wrote.

The subpoena, which was issued by the Foreign Affairs Committee in consultation with the other two panels, is the first since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched the formal impeachment inquiry earlier this week.

In the Trump-Zelenskiy call, which took place days after Trump withheld congressionally approved aid to Ukraine, Trump pressed Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

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"The Committees are investigating the extent to which President Trump jeopardized national security by pressing Ukraine to interfere with our 2020 election and by withholding security assistance provided by Congress to help Ukraine counter Russian aggression," the chairmen wrote.

A whistleblower's complaint about the call was released Thursday and revealed that White House officials were so concerned about what the president had said that they intervened to "lock down" the official transcript of the conversation.

A description of the July call released on Wednesday showed Trump asking Zelenskiy to look into why Ukraine's former top prosecutor ended an investigation into Hunter Biden, who served on the board of a gas company there. Trump noted on the call that the then-vice president "went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it."

Engel, Schiff and Cummings had already requested documents related to the call, pressuring the president to release information on his efforts to get Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and his administration's apparent efforts to withhold approved aid to the country.

“The Committees are conducting this investigation in an expeditious, coordinated manner," the three chairmen wrote Friday. "The Inspector General of the Intelligence Community has determined that the whistleblower complaint raises a matter of ‘urgent concern,’ is ‘credible,’ and ‘relates to one of the most significant and important of the DNI’s responsibilities to the American people’: our free and fair elections.”

They also sent a separate letter to Pompeo to schedule the depositions of five State Department officials over the next two weeks.

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the subpoena.

Pompeo told reporters at a news conference Thursday at the U.N. General Assembly that his agency had acted appropriately in its interactions with Ukraine.

“To the best of my knowledge, and what I've seen so far, each of the actions that were undertaken by State Department were entirely appropriate and consistent with the objective that we've had certainly since this new government has come into office," he said.

Abigail Williams contributed.