House Democrats to Subpoena White House for Ukraine Documents
House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings reveals plans
House Democrats revealed Wednesday they plan to subpoena the White House for documents related to Ukraine as they attempt to find evidence to support their claims that President Donald Trump "pressured" Ukrainian officials to investigate Joe Biden.
Anti-Trump House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings is leading the charge by Democratic leaders who claim Trump threatened to withhold US military aid from the Ukrainian government.
“The White House’s flagrant disregard of multiple voluntary requests for documents—combined with stark and urgent warnings from the Inspector General about the gravity of these allegations—have left us with no choice but to issue this subpoena,” a memo prepared by Cummings reads.
Democrats are seeking documents "memorializing communications between President Trump and the leader of any other foreign country" in relation to Trump's alleged efforts to pressure the Ukrainian president.
President Trump has denied any wrongdoing.
The draft subpoena for the White House was released by Cummings along with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel.
According to Fox News, the move comes after the chairs issued a host of other subpoenas to key Trump administration officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and to individuals close to the president, like Rudy Giuliani, who played a key role in seeking information from Ukrainian officials on former Vice President Joe Biden's dealings with the country, along with those of his son Hunter.
The Democratic chairs also have called several State Department officials for depositions related to the Ukraine controversy.
The depositions are for former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovich, former U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker—who resigned from his post last Friday—Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent, Counselor T. Ulrich Brechbuhl and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland.
All officials, except Kent, were named in the whistleblower complaint accusing Trump of “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”
The whistleblower alleged that Trump pressured the Ukrainian president into investigating the Bidens, and Democrats have claimed this appeared linked to U.S. military aid to Ukraine -- which Trump denies.
Former President Barack #Obama's administration pressured #Ukraine officials to investigate Donald Trump's campaign manager, Paul Manafort, in 2016, according to an ex-top US prosecutor.— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) September 29, 2019
READ MORE: https://t.co/ax1jrohGvR
Schiff has also scheduled closed-door testimony from intelligence community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, who is slated to appear before the panel on Friday.
Atkinson is the intelligence community watchdog who first received the whistleblower complaint and transmitted it to Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire.
The subpoenas and scheduled depositions come as part of the House's formal impeachment inquiry into the president, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced last week amid the chaos surrounding Trump's controversial July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump, on that call, sought for Zelensky to initiate an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
An intelligence community whistleblower alleged that Trump was soliciting foreign aid to benefit his 2020 re-election campaign.
The transcript of the phone call, released by the White House last week, sought help in investigating the Bidens.
“The other thing, there’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great,” Trump said.
“Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it…It sounds horrible to me.”
This refers to Joe Biden, while vice president, urging Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings — where Hunter Biden was on the board.
Biden has maintained that corruption concerns prompted his intervention.
The president, though, has maintained that he did not engage in any misconduct, and stands by his argument that there was nothing improper about the phone call -- instead blasting the Democrats, going so far as to call on Schiff (D-CA) to resign.
"Congressman Adam Schiff should resign for the Crime of, after reading a transcript of my conversation with the President of Ukraine (it was perfect), fraudulently fabricating a statement of the President of the United States and reading it to Congress, as though mine! He is sick!" Trump tweeted Wednesday.
Congressman Adam Schiff should resign for the Crime of, after reading a transcript of my conversation with the President of Ukraine (it was perfect), fraudulently fabricating a statement of the President of the United States and reading it to Congress, as though mine! He is sick!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2019
"All the Do Nothing Democrats are focused on is Impeaching the President for having a very good conversation with the Ukrainian President," Trump tweeted.
"I knew that many people were listening, even have a transcript. They have been at this “stuff” from the day I got elected. Bad for Country!"
All the Do Nothing Democrats are focused on is Impeaching the President for having a very good conversation with the Ukrainian President. I knew that many people were listening, even have a transcript. They have been at this “stuff” from the day I got elected. Bad for Country!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2019