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House committees subpoena Pompeo for Ukraine documents

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (AFP photo)

Three Democratic-led US House of Representatives Committees have subpoenaed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over documents concerning contact with the Ukrainian government.

The subpoenas were issued Friday by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep Eliot Engel, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings.

The three aim to obtain documents that detail interactions between President Donald Trump, his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and senior Ukrainian officials who Trump pressured to probe former Vice President Joe Biden.

"The subpoenaed documents shall be part of the impeachment inquiry and shared among the Committees. Your failure or refusal to comply with the subpoena shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry,” the three chairmen wrote in a letter to Pompeo.

“On September 9, 2019, the Committees wrote to you requesting documents. We asked you to produce these documents by September 16, 2019. You failed to comply with the Committees’ request.”

They also scheduled depositions for five State Department officials over the next two weeks. The officials include former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, Ambassador Kurt Volker, the US Special Representative for Ukraine, and Ambassador Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union.

Meanwhile, Trump's special representative for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, resigned on Friday, according to sources familiar with the matter.

A whistleblower complaint from within the intelligence community on Thursday accused Volker of attempting to "contain the damage" from efforts by Giuliani to press Ukraine to investigate Democrats.

This comes as US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday announced the launch of a formal inquiry into whether Trump should be impeached over a controversial Ukraine call.

Pelosi made the announcement after meetings with Democratic congressional leaders and working out plans to move toward impeachment proceedings against Trump over his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

During the phone call, Trump allegedly sought Ukraine's help to smear Biden, the current front-runner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. The US president reportedly urged Zelensky about eight times to work with Giuliani to investigate government corruption involving Biden and his son, Hunter.

Trump dismissed the Ukraine allegations as another witch-hunt attempting to smear his already tarnished reputation and damage his popularity as the Americans get closer to the 2020 election.

Pelosi’s announcement came after Trump said he would release an unredacted transcript of the call with Zelenskyy on Wednesday.

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