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Photo: Matthew Eisman/Getty Images

The House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight Committees have subpoenaed Energy Secretary Rick Perry to turn over documents by Oct. 18 as part of their investigation into President Trump's alleged efforts to push Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden.

“Recently, public reports have raised questions about any role you may have played in conveying or reinforcing the President’s stark message to the Ukrainian President. These reports have also raised significant questions about your efforts to press Ukrainian officials to change the management structure at a Ukrainian state-owned energy company to benefit individuals involved with Rudy Giuliani’s push to get Ukrainian officials to interfere in our 2020 election.”
— Chairmen Adam Schiff, Eliot Engel and Elijah Cummings

The big picture: As Axios first reported, Trump told House Republicans that he made his now infamous phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the urging of Perry. In May, Perry led a U.S. delegation to Ukraine for Zelensky’s inauguration in place of Vice President Mike Pence, leading Democrats to ramp up their scrutiny of the trip and Perry's conversations with Ukrainian leaders.

  • The AP also reported last week that at the same time Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani was pushing Ukrainian officials to investigate Biden, Perry was engaged in an effort to replace board members at Ukraine's state-run gas company with new management — including one of his Texas donors.
  • The AP notes that it's not clear if the two pressure campaigns were related, but argues that it "shows how those with ties to Trump and his administration were pursuing business deals in Ukraine that went far beyond advancing the president’s personal political interests."

Read the letter to Perry

Go deeper ... Trump-Ukraine scandal: The key players, dates and documents

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Why it matters: President Biden and Democrats have an immense amount of political capital riding on a $3.5 trillion bill facing razor-thin margins in both chambers. Conservatives are running ads targeting the House members who leaders will need to pass the measure.