Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledged he was listening to President Trump’s phone call with the Ukraine president, Volodymyr Zelensky. USA TODAY
WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo failed to comply with a Friday deadline to turn over Ukraine-related documents to House Democrats leading an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, according to an official on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
The State Department’s delay in producing reams of documents related to the agency’s dealings with Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, and Ukrainian leaders comes amid an increasingly high-stakes standoff between the executive branch and Congress. Democrats are investigating allegations that Trump used the power of his office to press a foreign government for damaging information about a top political rival.
“Secretary Pompeo has failed to meet the deadline to produce documents required by the subpoena. However, the State Department has contacted the Committees on this matter and we hope the Department will cooperate in full promptly,” said the committee official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The committee source said negotiations were ongoing and lawmakers expected to proceed with testimony for several State Department witnesses next week.
The White House indicated on Friday that it would not cooperate with any document requests unless and until the full House votes to authorize the impeachment inquiry. It was not clear if Pompeo’s delay was related to the White House directive or if the State Department was working with the committee to comply. The State Department press office did not respond to a request for comment.
Pompeo launched a broadside against the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry earlier this week, suggesting he would fight their request to depose five State Department employees involved in the Ukraine controversy. Democrats accused him of “stonewalling” the proceedings and seeking to intimidate witnesses.
On Thursday, former State Department official Kurt Volker, Trump’s ex-envoy to Ukraine, testified for more than nine hours behind closed doors. He shared text messages and other information that shed new light on Trump’s efforts to press Ukrainian leaders to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. Biden is a leading candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
On Friday, the House Intelligence Committee questioned Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general, about a whistleblower complaint that brought Trump’s requests about Biden to light.
The State Department’s failure to turn over documents on Friday came amid an escalating showdown between House Democrats and the White House. Earlier in the day, House Democrats subpoenaed the White House for documents relating to the Ukraine scandal and demanded information from Vice President Mike Pence on his involvement in the controversy.
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