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Ukraine call inquiry: House panels subpoena Pompeo


The chairmen of three House committees on Friday subpoenaed US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo over his "failure" to produce documents related to President Donald Trump's telephonic conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.
The chairmen of the House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight committees have asked Pompeo to produce the documents by October 4, CNN reported.
"Pursuant to the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry, we are hereby transmitting a subpoena that compels you to produce the documents set forth in the accompanying schedule by October 4, 2019," the chairmen -- Adam Schiff, Eliot Engel and Elijah Cummings, wrote in a letter to the Secretary of State.
The chairmen informed Pompeo in a separate letter that they had scheduled depositions for five State Department officials who have been mentioned in connection to the inquiry -- Ambassador Marie "Masha" Yovanovitch, Ambassador Kurt Volker, Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent, Counselor T. Ulrich Brechbuhl and Ambassador Gordon Sondland.
On September 9, the chairmen had written a letter to Pompeo requesting for six categories of documents "related to reported efforts by President Trump and his associates to improperly pressure the Ukrainian government to assist the President's bid for re-election." The deadline to produce the documents was set by September 16.
With the deadline missed, the chairmen shot off another letter on Monday warning if the documents were not produced, "our Committees will have no choice but to move towards compulsory process this week." The State Department had to reply till Thursday.
Pompeo has not made a public statement on the State Department's role in lawyer Rudy Giuliani's dealings with Ukraine. The Department is yet to make a comment despite repeated requests.
During a telephonic conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy, on July 15, Trump had asked him to investigate unsubstantiated allegations of corruption against former US Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, and other matters he saw as potentially beneficial to him for political gains.
Trump cajoled Zelenskiy to co-ordinate with attorney general William Barr and Giuliani, according to a reconstituted transcript of the call that was released by the White House on Wednesday.
Following this, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that Trump had betrayed his oath of office and announced opening a formal impeachment inquiry.
Trump has termed Democrats' investigation of his conversation as a "political witch hunt".

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First Published: Sep 28 2019 | 4:00 AM IST

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