Oct 1, 2019

State Department watchdog requests "urgent" Congress meeting on Ukraine

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

State Department Inspector General Steve Linick has requested to meet Wednesday with a number of Senate and House committees "to discuss and provide staff with copies of documents related to the State Department and Ukraine," according to a letter first reported by the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The details of the "urgent" briefing are unknown, but the news follows an escalating war of words between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and key House committees investigating President Trump's alleged efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden.

  • On Tuesday, the chairs of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees rebuked Pompeo for attempting to block State Department officials from testifying, accusing him of "stonewalling."
  • The Wall Street Journal and others reported on Monday that Pompeo was on the now-infamous phone call between Trump and Ukraine's president, leading the committees to label Pompeo a "fact witness" in their impeachment investigation.
  • Former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, who resigned last week, confirmed Tuesday that he would appear for a deposition before the committees later this week. 4 other current or former State Department officials are scheduled to testify in the next 2 weeks, but they have not yet confirmed.

According to CNN's Manu Raju, the inspector general will meet with the following committees:

  • House Foreign Affairs
  • Senate Foreign Relations
  • House Appropriations
  • Senate Appropriations
  • House Oversight
  • Senate Homeland Security
  • House Intelligence
  • Senate Intelligence

Go deeper: House chairmen accuse Pompeo of "stonewalling" in Ukraine investigation

Go deeper

House chairmen suggest Pompeo conflict of interest

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The chairs of the House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight committees said in a letter Tuesday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo "appears to have an obvious conflict of interest" over President Trump's impeachment inquiry. And they warn that Pompeo may be in violation of the law if he tries to prevent staff from testifying.

Why it matters: The letter to Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan is the latest escalation in a war of words between Pompeo and these House committees probing the Trump administration's alleged efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate 2020 candidate Joe Biden.

Go deeperArrowOct 2, 2019

House chairmen accuse Pompeo of "stonewalling" in Ukraine investigation

Mike Pompeo. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent a letter to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday accusing Democrats of "an attempt to intimidate, bully, and treat improperly" officials from the State Department who have been asked to cooperate in the Trump-Ukraine investigation.

The latest: The chairmen of the House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight committees responded to Pompeo on Tuesday afternoon, accusing him of "stonewalling" and claiming that he may be a "fact witness" in the impeachment inquiry following reports that he was on the now-infamous July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Oct 1, 2019

Pompeo confirms he was on Trump's Ukraine call

Mike Pompeo with Italy's foreign minister. Photo: Allberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed during a press conference in Rome Wednesday that he was on the line during the July phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Why it matters: Pompeo had previously been coy about his role in the call, giving ABC News' Martha Raddatz an evasive answer when she asked him directly about the call last week: "You just gave me a report about an IC whistleblower complaint — none of which I've seen."

Go deeperArrowOct 2, 2019