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3 US diplomats detained near secret Russian military training ground: officials

Three U.S. diplomats were removed from a train and detained Monday near a mysterious military site in northwestern Russia where a deadly explosion and radiation leak took place back in August, according to officials.

Russia’s Interfax news agency reported that the three U.S. diplomats were removed from a train when it arrived in Severodvinsk, a city of 183,000.

The U.S. State Department confirmed to Fox News the diplomats were taken off the train and were in the country on official travel after properly filing travel with the Russian Defense Ministry.

“The American diplomats were on official travel and had properly notified Russian authorities of their travel,” a State Department spokesperson told Fox News.

RUSSIA NUCLEAR MISSILE EXPLOSION RESULTED IN RADIOACTIVE ISOTOPES FOUND IN TEST SAMPLES AFTER ACCIDENT

Russian broadcaster REN-TV reported the three Americans did not present documents for staying in Severodvinsk, which is a city located in a list of territories that are under regulation for visits by foreign citizens.

Westlake Legal Group RussiaMap1 3 US diplomats detained near secret Russian military training ground: officials Travis Fedschun Jennifer Griffin fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/disasters/nuclear fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox news fnc/world fnc article 47ccd6d2-cb7c-576c-a968-e1e350e6d0c0

Three U.S. diplomats were removed from a train and detained Monday after arriving in the city of Severodvinsk, located near a secret military testing site where a deadly explosion and radiation leak took place in August. (Bing/Fox News)

The group of Americans was detained after Russian authorities conducted a check of passengers on the train when it arrived in the city, according to REN-TV.

Interfax reported the U.S. diplomats had been let go, but are regarded to have broken Russian law. Officials have not yet released any additional information.

RUSSIA NUCLEAR MISSILE EXPLOSION CAUSED 2 WORKERS TO DIE OF RADIATION SICKNESS, REPORT SAYS

The port city of Severodvinsk is located near the military shooting range in Nyonoksa, in the country’s far northern Arkhangelsk region.

On Aug. 8, five nuclear workers were killed during a rocket engine test near the White Sea in an area considered part of the testing range. Russia’s Defense Ministry initially said the blast killed two people and injured six, but the state-controlled nuclear agency, Rosatom, later disclosed that the explosion killed five of its workers and injured three others. Rosatom said the explosion occurred while engineers were testing “a nuclear isotope power source” for a rocket and were thrown into the sea by the explosion.

A Russian newspaper later reported that two of the patients that were injured in the blast died from radiation sickness before they could be taken to Moscow for treatment.

The mysterious explosion was followed by a brief rise in radiation levels in nearby Severodvinsk, but the authorities insisted the recorded levels didn’t pose any danger to local residents. Russia’s state weather agency, Rosgidromet, said it believed radiation levels had risen up to 16 times after the accident when a cloud of radioactive gases drifted across the area in the wake of the blast.

Weeks later, the weather agency said that radioactive isotopes were been discovered in test samples.

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Russian officials’ changing and contradictory accounts of the incident have drawn comparisons to Soviet attempts to cover up the 1986 explosion and fire at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, the world’s worst nuclear disaster.

The Russian Defense Ministry at first denied any radiation leak in the incident, even as authorities in nearby Severodvinsk reported a brief rise in radiation levels and advised residents to stay indoors and close the windows.

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President Vladimir Putin has praised the victims of the disaster, saying they were doing “very important work for the nation’s security,” but kept mum on what type of weapon they were testing. U.S. defense officials and outside observers believe it was a missile Russia calls the 9M730 Burevestnik. The NATO alliance has designated it the SSC-X-9 Skyfall, which was first revealed by Putin in March 2018 along with other doomsday weapons.

Westlake Legal Group RussiaMap1 3 US diplomats detained near secret Russian military training ground: officials Travis Fedschun Jennifer Griffin fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/disasters/nuclear fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox news fnc/world fnc article 47ccd6d2-cb7c-576c-a968-e1e350e6d0c0   Westlake Legal Group RussiaMap1 3 US diplomats detained near secret Russian military training ground: officials Travis Fedschun Jennifer Griffin fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/disasters/nuclear fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox news fnc/world fnc article 47ccd6d2-cb7c-576c-a968-e1e350e6d0c0

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Nunes to ask State Dept. about ‘strange’ and irregular’ requests to monitor US journalists in Ukraine

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093589369001_6093582796001-vs Nunes to ask State Dept. about 'strange' and irregular' requests to monitor US journalists in Ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics fox news fnc/media fnc Danielle Wallace article 9ec0c022-3611-563c-9397-791819db9cb2

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said Wednesday that he intends to ask the State Department for more information about “strange” and “irregular” requests allegedly made by ousted U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch to monitor the communications of U.S. journalists in the country.

DEVIN NUNES SLAMS DEMS’ IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY AS ‘NOT REAL’: ‘IT’S A PARTISAN ADVENTURE’

Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said on Fox News’ “Hannity”  that he’s looking to ask Yovanovitch during her scheduled testimony Friday about her alleged efforts to monitor reporters.

Yovanovitch, who was appointed ambassador to Ukraine by former President Barack Obama in 2016, and fired by the State Department in May of this year, will give a deposition as part of the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry against President Trump.

“What I’ve heard — and I want to be clear — there’s a difference. What I’ve heard is that there were strange requests, irregular requests to monitor not just one journalist, but multiple journalists,” Nunes told host Sean Hannity. “Now perhaps that was OK. Perhaps there was some reason for that — that it can be explained away. But that’s what we know and that’s what we’re going to be looking into.”

Hannity said multiple sources have told him they “believe there is evidence that government resources were used to monitor communications” of U.S. journalists and that Yovanovitch may have been involved. Nunes noted that if the State Department had conducted surveillance over press activity in the Ukraine, it may have been done properly.

“We also have concerns that possibly they were monitoring press from different journalists and others,” Nunes continued. “That we don’t know, but we have people who are giving us this information and we’re going to ask these questions to the State Department and hopefully they’re going to get the answers before she comes in on Friday.”

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John Solomon, who recently became a Fox News contributor, also said on “Hannity” Wednesday: “I think we need to dig in more. Ambassador Yovanovitch should be given an opportunity and Secretary of State Pompeo should tell us what happened.”

Solomon is an investigative reporter who has made headlines for breaking stories related to the ongoing Ukraine controversy that have fueled Trump’s support for Attorney General William Barr’s review of the origins of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093589369001_6093582796001-vs Nunes to ask State Dept. about 'strange' and irregular' requests to monitor US journalists in Ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics fox news fnc/media fnc Danielle Wallace article 9ec0c022-3611-563c-9397-791819db9cb2   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093589369001_6093582796001-vs Nunes to ask State Dept. about 'strange' and irregular' requests to monitor US journalists in Ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics fox news fnc/media fnc Danielle Wallace article 9ec0c022-3611-563c-9397-791819db9cb2

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Sen. Blackburn calls out Dems’ divisive impeachment push: It is ‘Rules for Radicals’ in action

Westlake Legal Group blackburn-FOX Sen. Blackburn calls out Dems' divisive impeachment push: It is 'Rules for Radicals' in action Julia Musto fox-news/shows/americas-newsroom fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc e5ae3567-cc7a-59cd-afe7-8aa5b935a445 article

House Democrats are using their impeachment inquiry to “bring chaos” and sow division, Sen. Marsha Blackburn said Tuesday.

Appearing on “America’s Newsroom” with co-hosts Bill Hemmer and Sandra Smith, Blackburn, R-Tenn., expressed her frustration with the process after the State Department announced it would block European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland from testifying before Democrats on the Ukraine controversy.

President Trump dismissed the deposition as a “kangaroo court” as he defended the decision to block Sondland from appearing at the closed-door session on Capitol Hill.

GREGG JARREtT: UKRAINE PROBE HAS MORPHED INTO THE ‘NANCY PELOSI-ADAM SCHIFF WITCH HUNT’

“What we do know is that the Democrats want this to be a Kavanaugh circus all over again. They want to rush the process, have people come forward before they’re ready, or before they’re prepared so that they can try to discredit witnesses. You’re seeing that today,” she explained.

Sondland’s lawyers said that the ambassador traveled from Brussels to appear and was standing ready to testify on short notice.

Text messages show the ambassador working in accordance with the president’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, as he pushed for Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his family.

Additionally, they revealed a conversation wherein the top American official in the U.S. embassy in Ukraine texted that it would be crazy to withhold security assistance to Ukraine to help a political campaign. Sondland denied that was the case, then said he wanted to take the conversation off text.

HOUSE DEMS SUBPOENA PENTAGON, WHITE HOUSE BUDGET OFFICE IN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY

Sondland’s Counsel Robert Luskin said in a statement on Tuesday: “Ambassador Sondland is profoundly disappointed that he will not be able to testify today…(and) believes strongly that he acted at all times in the best interests of the United States, and he stands ready to answer the Committee’s questions fully and truthfully.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told reporters that he considered the failure to produce this witness “yet additional strong evidence of obstruction of the constitutional functions of Congress.”

Blackburn said the State Department “is going to abide by the Constitution, comply with the law, and protect the interest of this nation, and the executive branch.”

“What the House is doing is another part of their continuation to discredit President Donald Trump, and to try to undo the results of the election,” the senator said. “I mean, we know what they’re doing and what we want to do is make certain that due process is provided and that the rule of law is followed.”

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“This is truly ‘Rules for Radicals’ in action,” said Blackburn, referring to the 1971 book by liberal activist Saul Alinsky.

“They want to bring chaos. They want to bring division. This is the type [of] behavior that is going to continue to foster harsh attitudes and hateful rhetoric and it is time to bring this to an end and focus on what is good for the country.”

Fox News’ Adam Shaw, Chad Pergram, Rich Edson, Catherine Herridge and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group blackburn-FOX Sen. Blackburn calls out Dems' divisive impeachment push: It is 'Rules for Radicals' in action Julia Musto fox-news/shows/americas-newsroom fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc e5ae3567-cc7a-59cd-afe7-8aa5b935a445 article   Westlake Legal Group blackburn-FOX Sen. Blackburn calls out Dems' divisive impeachment push: It is 'Rules for Radicals' in action Julia Musto fox-news/shows/americas-newsroom fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc e5ae3567-cc7a-59cd-afe7-8aa5b935a445 article

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Engel says Pompeo failing to comply with House inquiry

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6091289148001_6091286260001-vs Engel says Pompeo failing to comply with House inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc ff28ff2f-a5b5-500c-ad18-2cc3f5c4e406 article Andrew O'Reilly

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Elliot Engel, D-N.Y., said on Sunday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is not complying with a House request in the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Speaking on CBS’ “Face The Nation,” Engel brushed of Pompeo’s assertion that House Democrats are “harassing” the State Department and said he finds it “really laughable that the secretary of state suddenly has this great concern for the State Department.”

Engel said: “There are discussions that are ongoing and we’re hoping that he will comply, although it’s kind of laughable that since Trump has been president, we have been getting numerous complaints from people who work at the State Department about all kinds of harassment from this administration where people were summarily let go or fired because they were deemed to be the wrong political persuasion or the wrong ethnic persuasion.”

TRUMP FIRES BROADSIDE AT ‘PILLAGING’ BIDENS, CLAIMS UKRAINE PUSH WAS ONLY ABOUT ‘CORRUPTION’

Echoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other top-ranking Democrats in the lower chamber of Congress, Engel also added that “no reason to” hold a full House vote on impeachment.

“There’s no rule that says you have to do it. It’s perfectly all right the way it is,” he said. Asked whether such a vote would be necessary to demonstrate a unified front, Engel suggested the idea was only being brought up by Republicans attempting to “throw… things into the mix and say ‘well, the Democrats should do this, the Democrats should do that.’”

Pompeo, who is traveling in Europe at the moment, said the State Department had responded to a congressional subpoena for him to produce Ukraine-related documents. He did not say what that response was. He had faced a Friday deadline to hand over the documents, but he suggested that he had not and would instead move to comply with the subpoena at his own pace.

“We’ll work through that process,” said Pompeo, a former congressman who was relentless in pursuing investigations into the attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, which occurred during the Obama administration.

“I remember precisely once when I was on that side and we were looking for documents. I remember precisely how long it took for those documents to come across. … We’re going to be more responsive than the Obama administration was in the years that preceded this particular Congress.”

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Pompeo also defended the Trump administration’s approach to Ukraine, which is driving an impeachment inquiry in Congress, and called it typical of the transactional way countries deal with one another.

Pompeo said the focus from the media and commentators on President Trump and Ukraine is “wrong” because it doesn’t “impact real people’s lives.”

“Instead they get caught up in some silly gotcha game,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6091289148001_6091286260001-vs Engel says Pompeo failing to comply with House inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc ff28ff2f-a5b5-500c-ad18-2cc3f5c4e406 article Andrew O'Reilly   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6091289148001_6091286260001-vs Engel says Pompeo failing to comply with House inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc ff28ff2f-a5b5-500c-ad18-2cc3f5c4e406 article Andrew O'Reilly

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State Department, North Korea disagree over whether latest nuclear talks broke down

Westlake Legal Group 07_AP19182011718251 State Department, North Korea disagree over whether latest nuclear talks broke down Morgan Phillips fox-news/world/world-regions/sweden fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/nuclear-proliferation fox news fnc/politics fnc article a307d0e2-cd48-51c7-8827-d093f6e16617

North Korea claimed Saturday that negotiations with American diplomats over the totalitarian country’s nuclear program had broken down Saturday, though the State Department later said the comments “do not reflect the content or the spirit” of the discussions.

North Korea’s top nuclear negotiator, Kim Myong Gil, told reporters through a translator outside Pyongyang’s embassy in Stockholm that working-level talks between officials from Washington and Pyongyang in Stockholm “have not fulfilled our expectation and finally broke off.”

“The U.S. raised expectations by offering suggestions like a flexible approach, new method and creative solutions, but they have disappointed us greatly and dampened our enthusiasm for negotiation by bringing nothing to the negotiation table,” Kim added, according to Reuters.

NORTH KOREA BLOCKS HIGH-RISE WINDOWS TO PREVENT INFORMATION LEAKS: REPORT

“The U.S. brought creative ideas and had good discussions with its DPRK [North Korea] counterparts,” State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said, adding that the U.S. representatives had agreed to return to the negotiating table in two weeks. It was not immediately clear whether the North Koreans had agreed to do the same.

“The United States and the DPRK [North Korea] will not overcome a legacy of 70 years of war and hostility on the Korean Peninsula through the course of a single Saturday,” Ortagus said. “These are weighty issues, and they require a strong commitment by both countries. The United States has that commitment.”

The discussions took place days after North Korea test-fired an underwater-launched missile, saying the test “ushered in a new phase in containing the outside forces’ threat … and further bolstering its military muscle for self-defense.”  The missile flew 280 miles and reached a maximum altitude of 565 miles, higher than any other short-range weapons North Korea has test-fired in recent months.

NORTH KOREA CONFIRMS UNDERWATER-LAUNCHED MISSILE, CALLS IT ‘NEW PHASE’ FOR LIMITING OUTSIDE THREATS

North Korea resumed missile tests after the second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam collapsed in February over how much sanctions relief Washington should provide Pyongyang in exchange for partial nuclear disarmament. Diplomatic relations between the two nations have largely been in stasis since, with the exception of a brief thaw in June when Kim and Trump met at the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea.

The first summit between the two leaders, which took place last year in Singapore resulted in a vague denuclearization agreement but few concrete results.

Earlier Saturday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he hoped “that the North Koreans came with spirit and willingness to move forward to implement what President Trump and Chairman Kim agreed to back in Singapore.”

“We’re mindful that this will be the first time we have had a chance to have a discussion in quite some time and that there remains a lot of work that will have to done by the two teams,” Pompeo said in Athens, where he is on the final leg of a tour of Southern Europe.

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He added that Washington hoped the meeting in Sweden would lead to “a set of dialogues that could take place in the coming weeks and months that will really deliver on the commitments that were made in Singapore.”

However, ousted National Security Advisor John Bolton openly criticized the Trump administration’s North Korea policy Monday, saying Kim Jong Un “will never give up weapons voluntarily.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 07_AP19182011718251 State Department, North Korea disagree over whether latest nuclear talks broke down Morgan Phillips fox-news/world/world-regions/sweden fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/nuclear-proliferation fox news fnc/politics fnc article a307d0e2-cd48-51c7-8827-d093f6e16617   Westlake Legal Group 07_AP19182011718251 State Department, North Korea disagree over whether latest nuclear talks broke down Morgan Phillips fox-news/world/world-regions/sweden fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/nuclear-proliferation fox news fnc/politics fnc article a307d0e2-cd48-51c7-8827-d093f6e16617

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Pompeo misses deadline to turn over State Dept. docs on Ukraine, Giuliani in impeachment inquiry

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo missed Friday’s deadline to comply with a subpoena issued by three Democrat-led House committees last week to hand over documents related to the department’s dealings with Ukraine and President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, Fox News has confirmed.

The subpoena came as Congress conducts a probe into a whistleblower’s complaint to the national intelligence community over Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — the incident that has since touched off the Trump impeachment inquiry.

The president is under fire for urging Zelensky, during that call, to investigate Democratic 2020 presidential frontrunner Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden, and the Ukrainian firm Burisma, where Hunter Biden held a board position.

POMPEO HITS BACK AT HOUSE DEMS IN DEPOSITION STANDOFF, CONFIRMS HE WAS ON UKRAINE CALL

Westlake Legal Group Pompeo100119 Pompeo misses deadline to turn over State Dept. docs on Ukraine, Giuliani in impeachment inquiry fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox news fnc/politics fnc Danielle Wallace article 90761284-c21f-50fb-a7e3-a7ebcee86cff

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listens during an event hosted by the Department of State’s Energy Resources Governance Initiative in New York, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019. (Associated Press)

Last week, the chairmen of the three House panels — Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., of the Intelligence Committee; Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., of the Foreign Affairs Committee; and Elijah Cummings, D-Md., of the Oversight and Reform Committee — demanded a list of State Department officials who might have been involved with the Ukraine conversation. The chairmen additionally requested any State Department records about Giuliani, and any records relating to U.S. military aid to Ukraine. (Giuliani had traveled to Ukraine on business on behalf of the president, he told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Wednesday.)

Fox News confirmed the State Department is in touch with the three House panels regarding the deadline breach. Trump told reporters he would send House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a letter Friday, saying the White House would not comply with the impeachment inquiry until it is made official by a vote before the entire chamber. It was unclear if the State Department failed to comply with the subpoena at Trump’s request.

Pompeo confirmed Wednesday — while in Rome — that he was on the July 25 call, describing his involvement as appropriate, and within the purview of his role as secretary of state. As a stand-off between the executive branch and Congress escalated, he also said he would fight a request from the Democratic chairmen for depositions from five State Department officials. He accused the lawmakers of not giving department employees enough time to prepare and voiced concern that the committee was trying to prevent State Department counsel from participating.

“What we objected to was the demands that were put that deeply violate fundamental principles of the separation of powers,” Pompeo said. “They contacted State Department employees directly and told them not to contact legal counsel at the State Department.”

“What we objected to was the demands that were put that deeply violate fundamental principles of the separation of powers. They contacted State Department employees directly and told them not to contact legal counsel at the State Department.”

— Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Lawmakers from the Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight committees moved forward with testimony from their first key witness Thursday — former U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, who resigned last week after receiving word his name had surfaced in the whistleblower complaint. Text messages released by Volker to Congress show U.S. officials involved with Ukraine arguing internally last month over whether Trump was engaged in a quid pro quo. Fox News on Friday also obtained Volker’s prepared testimony, in which he details his interactions with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who was probing whether Burisma had sought to garner influence with Biden by paying high fees to his son.

A memorandum of the July 25 call between Trump and Zelensky released last month showed that while Trump sought a Ukrainian probe into the Biden family, he did not explicitly use the $400 million in military aid as leverage. Trump tweeted Thursday that he had an “absolute right, perhaps even a duty, to investigate or have investigated corruption, and that would include asking or suggesting other countries to help us out!”

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Joe Biden has acknowledged on camera that in spring 2016, when he was vice president and spearheading the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy, he successfully pressured Ukraine to fire top prosecutor Viktor Shokin. At the time, Shokin was investigating Burisma Holdings — where Hunter had a lucrative role on the board despite limited relevant expertise. Biden allies maintain his intervention was driven by corruption concerns.

Michael Atkinson, the inspector general of the intelligence community, gave testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Friday, as he was the first to receive the whistleblower complaint. The complaint was eventually declassified by the Trump administration and a redacted versions sent to Congress. House Democrats are scheduled to hear testimony from several other officials next week.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram, Brooke Singman, Alex Pappas and Catherine Herridge contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Pompeo100119 Pompeo misses deadline to turn over State Dept. docs on Ukraine, Giuliani in impeachment inquiry fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox news fnc/politics fnc Danielle Wallace article 90761284-c21f-50fb-a7e3-a7ebcee86cff   Westlake Legal Group Pompeo100119 Pompeo misses deadline to turn over State Dept. docs on Ukraine, Giuliani in impeachment inquiry fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox news fnc/politics fnc Danielle Wallace article 90761284-c21f-50fb-a7e3-a7ebcee86cff

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Pompeo accuses Dems of ‘bullying’ State employees with deposition demand: ‘I will not tolerate such tactics’

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6090989245001_6090982738001-vs Pompeo accuses Dems of 'bullying' State employees with deposition demand: 'I will not tolerate such tactics' fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox news fnc/politics fnc article Alex Pappas a920b43c-093b-5f44-a964-d261013cef27

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is fighting back against House Democrats seeking to depose five State Department officials over the Trump-Ukraine controversy.

In a letter and in tweets on Tuesday, Pompeo accused those Democrats of attempting to “intimidate” and “bully” the State Department’s foreign service officers (FSOs) and said depositions being sought by Congress are “not feasible.”

HOUSE COMMITTEES SUBPOENA POMPEO FOR UKRAINE DOCUMENTS AS PART OF IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY

The “requested dates for depositions are not feasible,” Pompeo wrote, claiming the lawmakers have not given the employees enough time to prepare and voicing concern that they’re trying to prevent State Department counsel from participating in the depositions. Pompeo said Executive Branch counsel would have to be present.

“Let me be clear: I will not tolerate such tactics, and I will use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attempts to intimidate the dedicated professionals whom I am proud to lead and serve alongside at the Department of State,” Pompeo tweeted in response to the Democrats’ demand for depositions.

It comes as Democrats have launched an impeachment inquiry after President Trump pressed Ukrainian officials this summer to investigate 2020 Democratic rival Joe Biden, his son Hunter and the Bidens’ business activity in Ukraine.

In a letter last week, the Democratic chairs of three House committees notified Pompeo that they had scheduled depositions for five State Department officials between Oct. 2 and Oct. 10.

Those officials are former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker, Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent, Counselor T. Ulrich Brechbuhl and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland. All of the officials except Kent are named in a complaint by an intelligence community whistleblower who accused Trump of “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”

GIULIANI SAYS POMPEO WAS AWARE OF HIS UKRAINE OUTREACH

“The failure of any of these department employees to appear for their scheduled depositions shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel; Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif.; and Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., wrote.

In a Tuesday tweet, Pompeo posted his letter to Engel and accused the Democrats of trying to “intimidate, bully, & treat improperly” the State employees.

In his letter, Pompeo also accused committee staff of “sending intimidating communications to career department professionals.” He asked for the committee to send requests not to the employees directly, but to the department’s legislative affairs office “as is customary.”

The chairmen also subpoenaed Pompeo Friday for documents related to Ukraine that they say pertain to the impeachment inquiry. “Your failure or refusal to comply with the subpoena shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry,” the chairmen wrote.

On Tuesday, Pompeo wrote in his letter that the department “intends to respond to that subpoena by the noticed return date” of Oct. 4.

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The Democratic lawmakers have demanded copies of the transcript of Trump’s July 25 controversial call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and a list of State Department officials who might have been involved with the conversation, according to the letter.

The chairmen are additionally requesting any State Department records about Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, and any records that relate to U.S. military aid to Ukraine.

 Fox News’ Melissa Leon and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6090989245001_6090982738001-vs Pompeo accuses Dems of 'bullying' State employees with deposition demand: 'I will not tolerate such tactics' fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox news fnc/politics fnc article Alex Pappas a920b43c-093b-5f44-a964-d261013cef27   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6090989245001_6090982738001-vs Pompeo accuses Dems of 'bullying' State employees with deposition demand: 'I will not tolerate such tactics' fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox news fnc/politics fnc article Alex Pappas a920b43c-093b-5f44-a964-d261013cef27

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Giuliani says Pompeo was aware of his Ukraine outreach

Westlake Legal Group AP19272567835719 Giuliani says Pompeo was aware of his Ukraine outreach fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 91b98ed4-e842-5084-b0bd-4b883566006b

Rudy Giuliani on Sunday said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was aware of his efforts to pressure Ukraine’s government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, a claim furthering allegations of the State Department’s involvement in the campaign.

Appearing on CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” Giuliani said he had acted “at the request of the State Department.”

“I have all of the text messages to prove it,” Giuliani said. “And, I also have a ‘thank you’ from them from doing a good job.”

The State Department did not comment on Giuliani’s claims.

It came after the release last Thursday of a whistleblower complaint at the center of an impeachment inquiry against President Trump.

The complaint, which detailed a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, alleged that Kurt Volker, a former U.S. envoy to Ukraine, reached out to Giuliani to “contain the damage” of his dealings with Ukraine.

Giuliani said Volker facilitated a meeting with Andriy Yermak, a top Zelensky aide, in July. After that meeting, Giuliani said he briefed Volker and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, on his conversation with Yermak.

The State Department has confirmed that Volker helped secure a meeting between Giuliani and Yermak but denied that Giuliani was acting “on behalf” of the Trump administration.

Volker resigned as special envoy to Ukraine after the allegations came to light. Congressional Democrats have said they will compel Volker to testify as part of the impeachment inquiry.

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Giuliani told “Face The Nation” that Pompeo’s name was never brought up during those conversations, but claimed that the secretary was aware of his outreach to Ukraine.

“[W]hen I spoke to the secretary last week, I said, ‘Are you aware of this?’ and he said, ‘Yes, I know about this,” Giuliani said.

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Giuliani also surmised that State Department officials have been trying to downplay Volker’s effort in his outreach.

“The State Department is running away from me,” he said.

Westlake Legal Group AP19272567835719 Giuliani says Pompeo was aware of his Ukraine outreach fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 91b98ed4-e842-5084-b0bd-4b883566006b   Westlake Legal Group AP19272567835719 Giuliani says Pompeo was aware of his Ukraine outreach fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 91b98ed4-e842-5084-b0bd-4b883566006b

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State Department stepped up Hillary Clinton email probe beginning in August: report

Westlake Legal Group AP19149787793691 State Department stepped up Hillary Clinton email probe beginning in August: report Morgan Phillips fox-news/politics/the-clintons fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox news fnc/politics fnc article abcb5487-00da-56e1-ad2e-35ee2efb4326

The State Department reportedly has ramped up its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private server, potentially reviving an issue that dominated the 2016 presidential election campaign.

The Washington Post, citing current and former U.S. officials, reported late Saturday that as many as 130 current and former officials whose emails found their way into Clinton’s inbox have been contacted by investigators. According to The Post, those officials have received letters notifying them that their emails from years ago have been retroactively classified and their transmission could constitute security violations.

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State Department investigators began contacting the officials around a year and a half ago, then the investigation seemed to fall by the wayside before picking up steam again last month, officials said.

Senior State Department officials denied they were acting at the specific direction of President Trump, who is facing an impeachment inquiry led by House Democrats.

“The process is set up in a manner to completely avoid any appearance of political bias,” a senior State Department official told The Post.

“This has nothing to do with who is in the White House,” said a second senior State Department official.“This is about the time it took to go through millions of emails …”

STATE DEPARTMENT IDENTIFIES 23 VIOLATIONS, ‘MULTIPLE SECURITY INCIDENTS’ CONCERNING CLINTON EMAILS

Several of those questioned, however, told the Post that investigators seemed to be pursuing the matter “reluctantly, and under external pressure.”

Jeffrey Feltman, a former assistant secretary for Near East Affairs, told the paper he found the recent retroactive classification of more than 50 of his emails to be out of the ordinary. “I’d like to think that this is just routine, but something strange is going on.”

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Those being investigated will not face criminal prosecution since the FBI investigation of the Clinton email case closed before the 2016 election.

The FBI began investigating Clinton’s use of a private email server in July 2015 based on a referral from the intelligence community inspector general. In July 2016, then-FBI director James Comey announced he was recommending the case be closed with no charges, saying Clinton and her aides’ handling of classified information was “extremely careless” but not criminal.

Click for more from The Washington Post.

Westlake Legal Group AP19149787793691 State Department stepped up Hillary Clinton email probe beginning in August: report Morgan Phillips fox-news/politics/the-clintons fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox news fnc/politics fnc article abcb5487-00da-56e1-ad2e-35ee2efb4326   Westlake Legal Group AP19149787793691 State Department stepped up Hillary Clinton email probe beginning in August: report Morgan Phillips fox-news/politics/the-clintons fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox news fnc/politics fnc article abcb5487-00da-56e1-ad2e-35ee2efb4326

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US envoy to Germany blasts Iran foreign minister’s ‘hypocrisy’ amid controversy over visiting sick diplomat

Westlake Legal Group Richard-Grenell-Reuters US envoy to Germany blasts Iran foreign minister's 'hypocrisy' amid controversy over visiting sick diplomat Sam Dorman fox-news/world/united-nations/general-assembly fox-news/world/united-nations fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox news fnc/world fnc c41cf047-f6bf-5804-9992-5965981fbc05 article

Richard Grenell, the United States ambassador to Germany, ripped Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif after he appeared to complain about the State Department prohibiting Zarif from visiting a sick colleague during his visit to New York City for the United Nations General Assembly.

On Saturday, Zarif tweeted:  “Thanks to technology, I was able to see and talk to my friend of 40 years and our UN ambassador Ravanchi, who is in hospital here in New York only a few blocks away.” The State Department said Friday that Zarif could visit Majid Takht-Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, in person if Tehran released an American hostage.

“Iran has wrongfully detained several U.S. citizens for years, to the pain of their families and friends they cannot freely visit,” the State Department said. “We have relayed to the Iranian Mission that the travel request will be granted if Iran releases a U.S. citizen.”

Grenell, a staunch critic of the Iranian regime, lashed out at Zarif, tweeting: “You deny the Iranian people access to this US technology and social media sites. And you continue to take hostages. Your hypocrisy knows no bounds.”

US: IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER CAN ONLY VISIT SICK COLLEAGUE ON NY TRIP IF IRAN RELEASES HOSTAGES

In a follow-up tweet, Grenell asked Zarif: “Where’s Bob Levinson? For 12 years he’s been a US hostage in Iran. The longest held US hostage.”

Levinson has been missing in Iran since 2007. Four other Americans are known to be imprisoned in that country: U.S. Navy veteran Michael White, Princeton University Ph.D. candidate Xiyue Wang, Siamak Namazi and his father Baquer.

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Asked Thursday about Americans imprisoned in Iran and Iranians imprisoned in the United States, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told Fox News that the Trump administration had said that if at least one American was freed by Iran, then Washington would reciprocate.

Rouhani cited the June release of Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese and permanent U.S. resident detained in 2015 and sentenced to 10 years in prison on accusations of spying for the United States. “They only thanked Iran,” Rouhani said. “The ball stands in America’s court.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Richard-Grenell-Reuters US envoy to Germany blasts Iran foreign minister's 'hypocrisy' amid controversy over visiting sick diplomat Sam Dorman fox-news/world/united-nations/general-assembly fox-news/world/united-nations fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox news fnc/world fnc c41cf047-f6bf-5804-9992-5965981fbc05 article   Westlake Legal Group Richard-Grenell-Reuters US envoy to Germany blasts Iran foreign minister's 'hypocrisy' amid controversy over visiting sick diplomat Sam Dorman fox-news/world/united-nations/general-assembly fox-news/world/united-nations fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox news fnc/world fnc c41cf047-f6bf-5804-9992-5965981fbc05 article

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