US House committee subpoenas energy secretary Perry over Ukraine controversy

Evarado Alatorre
Octubre 13, 2019

House Democrats on Thursday subpoenaed Energy Secretary Rick Perry for documentation of his involvement with President Trump's efforts to push the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

The subpoena likewise demands records detailing Perry's role in transforming the management framework at a Ukrainian energy company, Naftogaz, a move that could have held a number of benefits for authorities dealing with Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

The Ukraine investigation has cast a pall over Trump's campaign to win back the White House in 2020.

"On Oct. 4, 2019, President Trump reportedly 'told House Republicans that he made his now infamous phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the urging of Energy Secretary Rick Perry - a call Trump claimed he didn't even want to make, ' " the letter says.

President Donald Trump and his allies' interactions with Ukraine are the subject of an ongoing impeachment inquiry. A whistleblower report brought this allegation up, which was based on second-hand accounts; this person did not listen in on the call.

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In a letter, Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff, Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings and Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot L. Engel requested Perry turn over files about his knowledge of a July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskiy and his activities in and business connections to Ukraine, including with a state-run natural gas company, Naftogaz.

The core of the Democrats' inquiry appears to rest on that July 25 call in which Trump pressured Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a potential 2020 opponent, in exchange for US military aid.

"President Trump and his administration reject your baseless, unconstitutional efforts to overturn the democratic process", the letter stated.

Cipollone then accused the Democrat-led House of entering unprecedented territory in launching an impeachment inquiry without a House vote.

"In the history of our nation, the House of Representatives has never attempted to launch an impeachment inquiry against the president without a majority of the House taking political accountability for that decision by voting to authorize such a dramatic constitutional step", he remarked.

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