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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 16. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, withdrew a subpoena and contempt threat against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday, after the State Department gave the committee more than 16,000 pages of records related to a probe into Hunter Biden's work for Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

Why it matters: House Democrats sought the documents to understand the direction of the Senate Homeland Security Committee's investigation into Hunter Biden led by Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who plans to release a report on the investigation before the election.

  • Some Democrats have accused Johnson of leading an overtly political investigation.
  • Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah) criticized his Republican colleagues on the Homeland Security Committee this week for the probe into Hunter Biden, saying it has the "earmarks of a political exercise."

Context: Immediately after Trump's acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial this February, Sens. Chuck Grassley and Johnson announced a review of "potential conflicts of interest posed by the business activities of Hunter Biden and his associates during the Obama administration."

  • Engel claimed Pompeo blocked his committee from obtaining documents as part of the review that had previously been given to Senate Republicans investigating Joe and Hunter Biden and ignored oversight requests from his House committee.
  • Engel also accused Pompeo of misusing agency resources to aid an investigation "obviously designed to boost the President's campaign and tear down his opponent," Joe Biden.

What they're saying: "It shouldn't have taken a subpoena, let alone the threat of contempt, for Secretary Pompeo to comply with the Committee's oversight request," Engel wrote.

  • "Nevertheless, I'm gratified that we've received these materials and can review them before Senate Republicans issue their report. This 'investigation' is obviously designed to boost the President's campaign and tear down his opponent, while our own Intelligence Community warns it is likely to amplify Russian disinformation."
  • "We're going to make sure the American people see the whole picture, not just cherrypicked information aimed at breathing new life into debunked conspiracy theories."

The big picture: The State Department said in 2014 there was no conflict in Hunter Biden's position on Burisma's board of directors, noting he was a "private citizen."

Go deeper

Pompeo says Russia is "pretty clearly" behind cyberattack on U.S.

Mike Pompeo. Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a Friday evening interview that "we can say pretty clearly that it was the Russians" behind a massive cyber attack that breached dozens of government agencies, think tanks and companies.

Driving the news: Pompeo's comments on "The Mark Levin Show" are the first from a Trump administration official publicly linking Russia to the hack. President Trump has yet to address the issue.

Biden headed to the Hill as Democrats struggle to reach deal on spending bills

President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi leave a House Democratic Caucus meeting in the U.S. Capitol on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021 in Washington, DC. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

President Biden on Thursday morning will meet with the House Democratic Caucus on Capitol Hill to provide an update about his Build Back Better agenda and the bipartisan infrastructure deal, according to a White House official.

Driving the news: The meeting comes as Democrats struggle to reach a deal on the spending bills. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN on Sunday that Democrats were planning to reach an agreement on the infrastructure package this week, before Biden's departure to Europe, which is slated for later on Thursday.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
45 mins ago - Economy & Business

Why it's so hard to tax wealth

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The wealth tax that wasn't a wealth tax isn't even a tax, now. The Democrats had a meticulously constructed 107-page proposal to pay for a large chunk of their spending plans with a tax on billionaires, but it died ignobly on Wednesday, the same day it was unveiled.

Why it matters: The dream of a wealth tax will never die as it so neatly generates revenue by reducing inequality. But there are three main reasons why that dream is likely to remain just a dream for the foreseeable future.