0114 GMT September 25, 2020
Committee Chair Eliot Engel said on Friday he had issued the subpoena as part of an investigation into Pompeo's “apparent use of Department of State resources to advance a political smear of former vice president Joe Biden,” AP reported.
The subpoena demands all the records that the department has turned over to Republican-led Senate committees that are investigating Hunter Biden's work for a gas company in Ukraine while his father was vice president. It also asks for internal department emails about responding to Congress. The committee says Pompeo had delivered more than 16,000 pages of records to the Senate but refused to send the same materials to the Democrat-led House.
“Secretary Pompeo has turned the State Department into an arm of the Trump campaign and he’s not even trying to disguise it," Engel said in a statement announcing the subpoena, which demands the materials by next week.
The subpoena represents another escalation in an election-year battle between Democrats and the GOP Senate committees investigating Hunter Biden. Democrats have criticized Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chair Ron Johnson, R-Wis., in particular for his probe of Hunter Biden and the gas company Burisma. They say Johnson's probe is amplifying Russian propaganda, an accusation he denies.
There is no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens, and Hunter Biden has denied using his influence with his father to aid Burisma.
House and Senate Democratic leaders sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray last month, saying they are concerned that Congress appears to be the target of a “concerted foreign interference campaign” to influence the 2020 presidential election. The letter, which did not mention Johnson or his committee by name, asked Wray for an all-members, classified briefing on the matter before the August recess.
Wray hasn't yet offered the requested briefing, but lawmakers did receive a classified briefing early Friday on general election security. Leaving that meeting, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is concerned “the American people should be better informed.”
The president’s efforts to have Ukraine investigate Hunter Biden’s role as a board member for Burisma were at the heart of House Democrats’ impeachment probe last year. Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate the Bidens on a July 2019 phone call that was later revealed by a whistleblower’s complaint.
The House impeached Trump in December for pressuring the Ukrainian government to announce an investigation while withholding military aid to the country. The Senate acquitted him in February.