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

Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.