Aug 28, 2020 - Politics & Policy

House committee launches contempt proceedings against Pompeo

 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo departs a meeting with members of the UN Security Council wearing mask

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: Mike Segar/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The House Foreign Affairs Committee announced Friday that it will launch contempt proceedings against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over his refusal to comply with a subpoena for records related to the State Department's involvement in attempts to link Joe Biden to corruption in Ukraine.

Why it matters: Democrats on the committee say that Pompeo gave similar documents to Senate Republicans, alleging he has undertaken a "transparently political misuse of Department resources" and shown "an unprecedented record of obstruction and defiance of the House’s constitutional oversight authority."

What they're saying: "Mr. Pompeo has demonstrated alarming disregard for the laws and rules governing his own conduct and for the tools the constitution provides to prevent government corruption," Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the committee's chairman, said in a press release,

  • "Mr. Pompeo’s final response makes it clear where he stands: the Department would turn over the documents if the Committee announced that we, too, were pursuing an investigation into the same conspiracy theory that’s been debunked again and again."
  • "Mr. Pompeo is demanding that the Committee do essentially the same thing Russia is doing, according the Office of the Director of National Intelligence: ‘spreading claims about corruption’ in order to 'interfere in the American presidential election.'"

Read State's response that prompted the contempt decision.

Go deeper