Democrats in the House of Representatives plan to subpoena the White House for documents related to the July 25 call between President Donald Trump and the Ukrainian president – unless the White House first turns the documents over.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings wrote a letter on Wednesday to his panel informing him of his plans to issue the subpoena, according to The New York Times.
“I do not take this step lightly,” Cummings wrote. “Over the past several weeks, the committees tried several times to obtain voluntary compliance with our requests for documents, but the White House has refused to engage with — or even respond to — the committees.”
“The White House has refused to engage with—or even respond to—the Committees.”@HouseForeign, @HouseIntel & @OversightDems released a memo & draft subpoena compelling the @WhiteHouse to produce key documents as part of the House of Representatives’ #ImpeachmentInquiry. pic.twitter.com/FPYbwpkG6x
— House Foreign Affairs Committee (@HouseForeign) October 2, 2019
After issuing two subpoenas for the impeachment inquiry, House Democrats have been planning their next steps.
The news of the impending subpoena was revealed ahead of upcoming news briefings with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff before the media.
Congress is also expected to meet with State Department Inspector General Steve Linick, who on Tuesday requested a meeting with members of Congress “to discuss and provide staff with copies of documents,” according to an invitation provided to the NYT.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, however, wrote a letter to Congress refusing to voluntarily provide depositions for the impeachment probe in what he described as an “inadequate” time frame with no notice or requests as congressional rules require. Pompeo said he would not “tolerate bullying” on the matter.
The call between Trump and Zelensky has been the center of a media firestorm after a whistleblower complaint alleged the call entailed Trump pressuring Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, as a means of undermining his political opponent.
The White House released the transcript of the call on Sept. 25, which showed that Trump asked Zelensky to “look into” the matter of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden – after Trump had initially asked Zelensky to look into another matter.
The whistleblower complaint, released Sept. 26, indicated that the complainant had no first-hand knowledge of the call, but instead made the report on second-hand information.
Trump also addressed the complaint on Monday morning, tweeting, “The Fake Whistleblower complaint is not holding up. It is mostly about the call to the Ukrainian President which, in the name of transparency, I immediately released to Congress & the public. The Whistleblower knew almost nothing, its 2ND HAND description of the call is a fraud!”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is leading the charge of an impeachment inquiry against Trump, after previously ruling it out and resisting her colleagues’ calls, citing his call with Zelensky as the facts needed to move forward with the motion.