Speaking with reporters in Rome, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo admitted he was on the phone call with Trump in which the president used U.S. military aid as leverage to persuade the Ukrainian leader to investigate his political rival Joe Biden.
Said Pompeo: “I was on the phone call. I’d been a secretary of state for coming on a year and a half. I know precisely what the American policy is with respect to Ukraine. It’s been remarkably consistent, and we will continue to try to drive those set of outcomes.”
CBS News reports: ‘The secretary neglected to answer questions on whether or not he had heard anything on the call that had raised any red flags, but said the call was about helping Ukraine get corruption of their government and “taking down the threat that Russia poses to Ukraine. He said that effort will continue “even while all this noise in Washington is going on.”‘
Pompeo on Tuesday defied a subpoena from House lawmakers regarding the impeachment inquiry into Trump’s phone call.
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.”