August 3, 2020
Representative Eliot Engel (D-New York)—who is serving out his 16th term in Congress after losing his seat in the June primary to progressive challenger Jamaal Bowman—intends to go out fighting, both for his constituents and against the GOP.
Engel, who is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee , subpoenaed the State Department on Friday, July 31— demanding copies of documents that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo already has provided to Senate Republicans investigating Joe Biden, Politico reported.
According to a press release issued by the committee, the subpoena demands all records purportedly dealing with the Bidens and Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings the department has produced to Republican-led Senate committees. Despite delivering Republican Senate chairmen thousands of pages of records, the Department of State has refused Chairman Engel’s request to provide duplicates to the Committee on Foreign Affairs. In addition, Chairman Engel’s subpoena seeks internal State Department correspondence about responding to Congress.
“After trying to stonewall virtually every oversight effort by the Foreign Affairs Committee in the last two years, Mr. Pompeo is more than happy to help Senate Republicans advance their conspiracy theories about the Bidens,” Engel said in a statement. “I want to see the full record of what the department has sent to the Senate and I want the American people to see it too.”
Engel also stated that, “Just days after the conclusion of President Trump’s impeachment trial, in which Secretary Pompeo refused to comply with a duly authorized subpoena for documents and attempted to block testimony of key witnesses, the State Department producing documents to Senate Republicans to help advance a political smear of Vice President Biden.”
The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Politico.
Engel has threatened to subpoena for the documents since May, when the probe of Burisma by Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) began ramping up. Johnson has denied that his investigation is meant as a political cudgel or is being influenced by foreign interests seeking to hurt Biden, Politico says.
The House impeached President Donald Trump last year for pushing Ukraine’s leaders to investigate Biden and other Democrats, and withholding security assistance to the country—amid its war with Russia—to exert pressure.
Now, Republicans clearly are trying to change the plot line. Indeed, Trump allies responded by leveling discredited allegations that Biden pressured Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who was investigating Burisma, an energy company where his son Hunter served on the board.
Conversely, State Department leaders testified during impeachment proceedings that Biden’s work in Ukraine was done in accordance with department policy, and that efforts to remove the prosecutor were part of an international push to root out corruption.
More recently, top Democrats have cited intelligence suggesting that at least some of the anti-Biden efforts are being fueled by Kremlin-aligned Ukrainians seeking to interfere in the 2020 election.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer have demanded an all-Congress FBI briefing about intelligence they say shows a specific foreign plot to influence congressional action, Politico reports..
After attending a general election security briefing, Pelosi on Friday morning, July 31, blasted the administration for “withholding” evidence of foreign interference.
The subpoena, directed to Secretary Pompeo, requires that the records be turned over by August 7.
Research contact: @politico