Oct 2, 2019 - Politics & Policy

House chairs threaten White House subpoena in impeachment inquiry

Donald Trump

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The chairs of the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees released a memo and draft subpoena on Wednesday that would compel the White House to turn over documents related to their impeachment inquiry into President Trump's alleged efforts to push Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden.

"The White House’s flagrant disregard of multiple voluntary requests for documents—combined with stark and urgent warnings from the Inspector General about the gravity of these allegations—have left us with no choice but to issue this subpoena."
— Chairs Adam Schiff, Elijah Cummings and Eliot Engel

The big picture: The committees are giving the White House until Friday to respond to a voluntary request for documents that was first submitted on Sept. 9. House Democrats are pursuing the impeachment inquiry on a rapid timeline, already having issued subpoenas to Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Between the lines: Immense pressure from House Democrats is part of what ultimately forced the White House to release a summary of Trump's now-infamous phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. It remains to be seen how the Trump administration will respond to the new wave of subpoenas, but Pompeo on Tuesday told the committees that he will not allow State Department officials to be "intimidated" into testifying.

  • In response, the chairs warned Pompeo that he was a witness in the investigation — since he has admitted to being on the Trump-Ukraine call — and that efforts to block testimony would be considered evidence of obstruction in the House's impeachment inquiry.

Read the draft subpoena:

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