Oct 10, 2019

Rick Perry subpoenaed in House impeachment investigation

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

Go deeper

Perry tells WSJ Trump directed him to contact Giuliani on Ukraine

Photo: Petras Malukas/AFP via Getty Images

Energy Secretary Rick Perry told the Wall Street Journal Wednesday that President Trump directed him to contact Rudy Giuliani in the spring about alleged Ukraine corruption concerns.

Why it matters: Per the WSJ, Perry's comments about the phone call he had with Trump's personal lawyer Giuliani concerning unsubstantiated allegations that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. election demonstrates "how closely the president’s personal lawyer worked with the administration on Ukraine policy."

Go deeperArrowOct 17, 2019

Energy Secretary Rick Perry offers Trump his resignation

Photo: Matthew Eisman/Getty Images

Energy Secretary Rick Perry informed President Trump on Thursday that he is resigning, Bloomberg first reported and Trump later confirmed. Perry's exact departure date is unknown, but Trump told reporters it would be "at the end of the year" and that he has already picked a successor.

Why it matters: While Perry has largely avoided the kind of controversies that have plagued Trump Cabinet officials like Scott Pruitt and Ryan Zinke, he has recently found himself embroiled in the Ukraine scandal currently at the heart of the House's impeachment inquiry. Perry told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that he was directed by President Trump to seek out Rudy Giuliani to discuss the president's concerns about alleged Ukrainian corruption.

Go deeperArrowOct 17, 2019

House Democrats' impeachment roadmap

An excerpt from House Democrats' document request for Fiona Hill.

Ahead of this week's subpoenas and depositions, new documents obtained by Axios show how Democrats are taking the impeachment inquiry in two tightly focused directions: Ukraine and obstruction of justice.

Why it matters: There are new temptations for Democrats to broaden the scope of their inquiry after developments last week including President Trump's gift to Turkey, new questions about coordination with the Chinese over Hunter Biden, and the dramatic airport arrests of two of Rudy Giuliani's associates with Eastern European backgrounds and their indictments on campaign finance violations.

Go deeperArrowOct 13, 2019