The subpoenas accuse the aides of resisting interviews in an investigation of President Donald Trump’s firing of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick.
A top House Democrat has subpoenaed four senior aides to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, accusing them of resisting interviews in an investigation of President Donald Trump’s firing of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick.
House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) issued the subpoenas Monday to Brian Bulatao, the undersecretary of State for management and a longtime Pompeo associate, as well as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Mike Miller, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Marik String and senior adviser Toni Porter.
The subpoenas are an escalation in the committee’s confrontation with the State Department, which has resisted repeated oversight attempts by the committee since Democrats’ impeachment investigation last year.
“The Administration continues to cover up the real reasons for Mr. Linick’s firing by stonewalling the Committees’ investigation and refusing to engage in good faith,” Engel, House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a joint statement. “That stonewalling has made today’s subpoenas necessary.”
Bulatao is seen by Democrats as a linchpin in their investigation, an enforcer of sorts for Pompeo who Linick said attempted to bully him into shying away from sensitive investigations about Pompeo’s use of taxpayer resources and stewardship of an arms sale to Saudi Arabia. The other aides, Democrats say, were aware of the circumstances of Linick’s departure or of the two investigations that he said raised questions about Pompeo’s actions. Linick testified to the House Foreign Affairs and House Oversight and Government Reform committees last month, leading the panels to request interviews with Bulatao and the other aides.
Bulatao had been slated to appear on July 2, but Democrats deferred to a State Department request for a delay on the eve of his testimony, citing the need to review the recently completed inspector general’s report on the Saudi arms sale. Democrats also agreed to postpone the other witness depositions until after Bulatao’s appearance, but by Monday their patience had run out.
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