Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a member of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet, is pushing back hard against House Democrats’ requests to depose five State Department officials over the Trump-Ukraine controversy, Fox News is reporting.
In a letter and in tweets he wrote on Tuesday, Pompeo said those Democrats are attempting to “intimidate” and “bully” the State Department’s foreign service officers (FSOs).
He said the depositions Congress is seeking are “not feasible.”
The “requested dates for depositions are not feasible,” Pompeo wrote.
He claimed lawmakers have not given the employees enough time to prepare.
And he is voicing concern they’r trying to prevent State Department counsel from participating in the depositions.
Pompeo said that counsel from the executive branch would have to be present in the process.
“Let me be clear,” wrote Pompeo on Twitter.
“I will not tolerate such tactics, and I will use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attempts to intimidate the dedicated professionals whom I am proud to lead and serve alongside at the Department of State,” he added.
Let me be clear: I will not tolerate such tactics, and I will use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attempts to intimidate the dedicated professionals whom I am proud to lead and serve alongside at the Department of State.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) October 1, 2019
The Democratic chairs of three House committees notified Pompeo that they had scheduled depositions for five State Department officials between October 2 and October 10, as Fox News reported.
In connected news, a picture obtained exclusively by “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on the Fox News Channel and revealed on Monday night shows former Vice President Joe Biden — a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic nomination — and his son, Hunter Biden, golfing in the Hamptons with a man named Devon Archer — who served on the board of the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings together with the younger Biden.
This could be a big problem for Joe Biden — he’s maintained he never discussed his son’s foreign business dealings with him, as Fox News has noted.
“I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings,” Biden said recently, responding to a question from Peter Doocy of Fox News while on the campaign trail in Des Moines, Iowa.
Biden instead tried to turn things around on Trump in that interview: “I know Trump deserves to be investigated. He is violating every basic norm of a president. You should be asking him why is he on the phone with a foreign leader, trying to intimidate a foreign leader. You should be looking at Trump.”
Hunter Biden told The New Yorker previously that he and his father had spoken “just once” about his work in Ukraine.
See the photo in this tweet:
Yea, #QuidProJoe had no idea what was going on and never discussed business with his son!🙄
Joe, Hunter Biden seen golfing with Ukraine gas company exec back in 2014, photo shows | Fox News https://t.co/R3qb7wwqq7
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) October 1, 2019
A source told Fox News that the golfing photo was taken in August 2014.
Earlier this month, Trump said that despite Joe Biden’s claims to the contrary, he seemingly discussed Ukraine matters with his son.
Amid the current frenzied move by the House on an impeachment query against the president, Trump and his administration have referenced possible corruption by the Bidens, insisting it must be examined.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), chair of the House Republican Committee, also said she wants answers about how much Democrat leaders knew about the so-called whistleblower’s complaint before the whistleblower actually registered that complaint.
That’s because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) made some stunning comments during an interview on the CBS News program “60 Minutes” on Sunday night.
“He told me it was perfect, that there was nothing on the call,” Pelosi said on the show, referencing a conversation she had with Trump before the White House released the transcript of his July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president as well as the whistleblower’s complaint.
“But I know what was in the call,” Pelosi continued — before quickly adding, “I mean, uh, it was in the public domain.”
Pelosi’s remark almost immediately “drew scrutiny from Republicans,” as Fox News pointed out, “because no verbatim account of Trump’s call had yet been made publicly available.”
Cheney wrote on Twitter on Monday, “@SpeakerPelosi said on ’60 Minutes’ last night she knew the details of the classified Ukraine call before White House released [the] transcript.”
“This is starting to seem like a political set-up,” Cheney continued. “So, Madame Speaker, ‘what did you know and when did you know it?'”
.@SpeakerPelosi said on 60 Minutes last night she knew the details of the classified Ukraine call before White House released transcript. This is starting to seem like a political set up. So, Madame Speaker, “what did you know and when did you know it?” pic.twitter.com/g5tlL5hBsX
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) September 30, 2019
“Speaking to Fox News, Pelosi communications director Ashley Etienne said Pelosi was referring only to publicly available information, and that Cheney had misinterpreted the question Pelosi had been asked. Etienne said that to her knowledge, Pelosi was not made aware of the whistleblower complaint or the contents of the transcript before they were publicly released,” the outlet noted.
White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, speaking to anchor Chris Wallace during a contentious interview on Sunday, said Trump is the real “whistleblower” in the current situation that has gripped Washington.
And he slammed the complaint from the so-called whistleblower — a possible CIA operative — that has kicked off the impeachment inquiry by House Democrats as a “Nancy Drew novel” and a “partisan hit job.”
“The president of the United States is the whistleblower,” said Miller on “Fox News Sunday.”
“The president correctly pointed out that the behavior of this individual is close to [that of] a spy,” added Miller.
Miller also charged that the so-called whistleblower’s complaint “drips with condemnation, condescension and contempt for the president” — and reminded Wallace that the intelligence community’s inspector general found evidence of political bias in the complaint, as a Fox News piece about the interview also made clear.
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