“You don’t get to work for Donald Trump, and then whine about ‘bullies.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the chairmen of three House committees on Tuesday that he had no intention of obeying subpoenas for documents and depositions by other State Department officials, a day before the deadline for responding to House Democrats’ orders.
Pompeo told House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.), House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), and House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) that their subpoena for documents regarding President Donald Trump’s communications with the Ukrainian government amounted to “bullying.”
The subpoena “can be understood only as an attempt to ‘intimidate, bully, and treat improperly, the distinguished professionals of the Department of State,'” wrote the secretary.
Pompeo’s response amounted to an obstruction of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, tweeted journalist Judd Legum.
The Trump administration is now actively obstructing the impeachment inquiry https://t.co/e9lC0wa9gx
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) October 1, 2019
The inquiry began last week after Democrats learned that Trump had asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate 2020 Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
Pompeo was the first administration official to be subpoenaed. Rudy Guiliani, the president’s lawyer, was issued a subpoena Monday to provide information about his alleged pressuring of Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.
Also on Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Pompeo—who for days had claimed to have little knowledge of Trump’s call with Zelensky, as he had not yet read the transcript—was in fact on the phone call.
Pompeo is “in this up to his ears,” tweeted journalist Lili Loofbourow.
REMINDER: Pompeo was ON THE PHONE CALL Trump made to Zelensky–which became grounds for the impeachment inquiry–but last week, before that was known, he claimed he couldn’t comment because he hadn’t “read the transcript.” He’s in this up to this ears. https://t.co/9wILxypyKv
— Lili Loofbourow (@Millicentsomer) October 1, 2019
Contrary to Pompeo’s complaint, some critics said on social media, Pompeo’s refusal to respond to elected representatives’ demands amounted to the bullying of the American people.
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) October 1, 2019
— Jon Cryer (@MrJonCryer) October 1, 2019
Some also noted the contrast between the Trump administration’s response to Congress’s demands regarding allegations that the president sought to bribe a foreign power to gain assistance winning the 2020 election, and that of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who spent 11 hours testifying about the deaths of four Americans in a 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya.
Pompeo, who was among the Republicans on a House select committee who aggressively questioned Clinton in 2015, is also continuing to investigate the former secretary of state amid developing news about Trump’s impeachment inquiry.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: Sure I’ll testify for 11 hours. No problem.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: I will hide behind my staff forever even though I lied to you all and was on the call with Ukraine. https://t.co/iRUrN5mDBO
— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) October 1, 2019
Benghazi: @HillaryClinton testified for 11 hours
— Chris Lu (@ChrisLu44) October 1, 2019
Pompeo was given until Friday, Oct. 4 to produce the documents requested by the committees. Former U.S. ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was scheduled to give a deposition Wednesday, with other depositions by Kurt Volker, former envoy to Ukraine; Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent; U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland; and State Department Counselor T. Ulrich Brechbuhl planned for the coming days.
Pompeo’s apparent plan to direct the officials not to give depositions amounts to “blatant obstruction,” one critic tweeted.
Secretary Pompeo has instructed his Department’s aides and officials not to comply with Congressional subpoenas.
This is blatant obstruction.
You’d think a man who once headed the CIA wouldn’t actually side with the President who was caught conspiring against the United States.
— Jordan Fisher 🏳️🌈 (@jordanwfisher_) October 1, 2019
People close to Giuliani are advising him to hire a criminal lawyer: CNN reporter
After two business associates of Rudy Giuliani were arrested, it was revealed federal investigators were looking into the finances of Giuliani to see the degree to which he was involved financially with Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. Now, those close to Giuliani are urging him to hire a criminal attorney to handle possible charges.
"Rudy Giuliani is parting ways with the personal attorney representing him so far in matters related to the impeachment inquiry," tweeted CNN's Shimon Prokupecz. "Giuliani confirmed to CNN Tuesday that his current attorney, Jon Sale, is ending his representation of the former New York City mayor shortly."
Trump trade adviser busted for making up ‘whimsical pen name’ to quote himself in his books for years
A senior economic and trade advisor to President Donald Trump has been busted for making up a person he can quote in his books and to justify his policies.
A shocking expose in The Chronicle of Higher Education revealed that Peter Navarro invented the name "Ron Vara," an anagram for Navarro, to justify his own opinions in his books.
The so-called Ron Vara has strong opinions, fortune-cookie-style quotes and an elaborate back story as "a military veteran and Harvard-trained economist who made seven figures in the stock market by investing in companies that do well during international crises," the report said.
Trump’s ‘diplomacy of narcissism’ is the most damaging attack on US credibility in history: career diplomat
In an op-ed for Foreign Affairs this Monday, former career Foreign Service officer and president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, William J. Burns, argues that President Trump has headed the biggest attack on US diplomacy that he's seen in his entire career.
"The contemptible mistreatment of Marie Yovanovitch—the ambassador to Ukraine who was dismissed for getting in the way of the president’s scheme to solicit foreign interference in U.S. elections—is just the latest example of President Donald Trump’s dangerous brand of diplomatic malpractice," Burns writes. "His is a diplomacy of narcissism, bent on advancing private interests at the expense of our national interests."