Energy Secretary Rick Perry has now been pulled into the House Democrats’ impeachment probe against President Donald Trump, as committee chairs subpoenaed Perry asking for a slew of documents Thursday.
What are the details?
Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), and Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) sent a letter to Perry along with a schedule of requested documents and communications related to the Energy Secretary’s interactions with Ukrainian officials and an array of federal agencies.
“Recently, public reports have raised questions about any role you may have played in conveying or reinforcing the President’s stark message to the Ukrainian President,” the letter read. “These reports have also raised significant questions about your efforts to suppress Ukrainian officials to change the management structure at a Ukrainian state-owned energy company to benefit individuals involved with Rudy Giuliani’s push to get Ukrainian officials to interfere in our 2020 election.”
The impeachment probe was launched over allegations that President Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine in order to press the country to re-open a corruption investigation into the business dealings of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. The younger Biden has been accused of using his father’s position as vice president to make lucrative deals with Ukrainian and Chinese firms.
Politico reported that “earlier this week, Perry acknowledged asking Trump to make the July 25 phone call to [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky that’s at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.”
Perry denies ever bringing up the Bidens during his interactions with Ukrainian officials, telling the Christian Broadcasting Network, “Not once, as God as my witness, not once was a Biden name — not the former vice president, not his son — ever mentioned.”
Perry was given a deadline of Oct. 18 to comply with the Democrats’ requests.
Last week, several outlets reported that Sec. Perry is expected to step down from his post in the next month or so, but Perry himself has since denied that claim.
Engel, Schiff, and Cummings sent a similar request to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo two weeks ago, and since have also issued subpoenas to the White House and Vice President Mike Pence as part of their efforts to build a case against the president.