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Democratic lawmakers subpoena US energy secretary Ricky Perry in Ukraine probe

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry (U.S. Department of Energy/Flickr)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have issued a subpoena to Energy Secretary Rick Perry as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

The chairmen of three House committees sent the subpoena to Perry on October 10 asking him to provide documents related to a Ukrainian state-owned oil and gas conglomerate, Naftogaz, as well as his involvement in a July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

The demand by the leaders of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight committees set a deadline of October 18 for Perry, who is currently traveling in Iceland.

Trump has said Perry encouraged him to make the July 25 call, in which Trump pressed Ukraine to investigate his Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son, who was on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

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Perry said he acknowledged he told Trump to call Zelenskiy but said he suggested they discuss energy issues and did not mention the Bidens.

“I asked the president multiple times, ‘Mr. President, we think it is in the United States’ and in Ukraine’s best interest that you and the president of Ukraine have conversations, that you discuss the options that are there,'” Perry said.

Democrats have accused Trump of pressuring Zelenskiy to investigate the Bidens by threatening to withhold approved military aid if he did not.

Trump has denied he did anything wrong. There has been no evidence presented of wrongdoing by the Bidens.

The impeachment probe has expanded to include Perry’s dealings with Naftogaz and efforts to install a friendlier management team at the company. Perry has denied wrongdoing.