Published: Thu, October 03, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Pompeo acknowledges he was on Trump call at center of probe

Pompeo acknowledges he was on Trump call at center of probe

The subpoena is directed toward acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. "We don't want this to drag on months and months and months, which appears to be the administration's strategy", U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, whose panel is leading the impeachment inquiry, told a news conference alongside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Citing anonymous sources, ABC News first reported the upcoming IG briefing to staffers from various committees in the House and Senate, noting that it came at the behest of Linick.

He knew his own State Department had signed off on US military assistance to Ukraine; he knew that Trump was effectively making that aid dependent on a partisan electoral scheme; and he said nothing. Even after they do so, the officials and their attorneys need to meet State Department lawyers because the department has "legitimate interests in safeguarding potentially privileged and classified information", according to Pompeo.

During the joint press conference, Trump chafed at journalists' questions about the House's impeachment inquiry and a whistleblower's complaint detailing his infamous phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

"I know precisely what the American policy is with respect to Ukraine", Pompeo added.

Pompeo's State Department is also investigating officials who sent emails to Hillary Clinton.

They said that if he was on Trump's call, "Secretary Pompeo is now a fact witness in the House impeachment inquiry".

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.

As a member of the special House committee, by contrast, then-congressman Pompeo pressed the Obama administration to cooperate with the panel's inquiry, demanding documents and testimony from dozens of government officials.

He said the "impeachment nonsense" was going nowhere and accused Democrats of deliberately using it to drive the stock market down in the hope that a weaker economy would help them win the 2020 election. And they warned, "He should immediately cease intimidating Department witnesses in order to protect himself and the President". They've also sent a subpoena to Trump's personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, who was in contact with US diplomats as he networked with Ukrainian officials.

Giuliani has admitted he met with Ukrainian officials, but said he did so at the direction of the State Department.

Another closed deposition is scheduled for Thursday, when lawmakers will question another former USA envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker.

A new poll released Wednesday showed a 46 percent support rate for impeaching U.S. President Donald Trump, with 43 percent opposed.

It's unclear whether Pompeo will comply with the committees' request for documents by Friday.

But they are anxious about one thing: that Ukraine's role in the Trump affair strengthens Russia's hand, and hobbles the politically inexperienced Zelenskiy just as he's trying to tackle the problems that matter to them most: corruption and an armed conflict with Russian-backed separatists in the east that has divided their nation.

Yovanovitch, the career diplomat whose abrupt recall from Ukraine earlier this year raised questions, is set to appear next week.

The call unfolded against the backdrop of a $250 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine that was being readied by Congress but stalled by the White House. He also said he "might" limit how many people listen in on his calls with foreign leaders.

Like this: