Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Trump administration are now actively obstructing an impeachment inquiry by the House of Representatives.
In a letter to House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, Pompeo suggested he would defy a request to depose five State Department employees, and wrote, “I’m concerned with aspects of the committee’s request that can be understood only as an attempt to intimidate, bully and treat improperly the distinguished professionals of the Department of State. 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.”
Wrote Engel in a letter to Pompeo on Friday: “Your failure or refusal to comply with the subpoena shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry.”
Pompeo became a center figure in the impeachment inquiry when it was revealed yesterday that he was on a phone call in which Trump used U.S. military aid to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate his political rival Joe Biden.
Added Pompeo: “This amounts to an attempt to circumvent the Executive Branch’s unquestionably legitimate constitutional interest in protecting potentially privileged information related to the conduct of diplomatic relations. Therefore, the five officials subject to your letter may not attend any interview or deposition without counsel from the Executive Branch present to ensure that the Executive Branch’s constitutional authority to control the disclosure of confidential information, including deliberative matters and diplomatic communications, is not impaired.”
Read the full letter: