As the House Democrat-led impeachment inquiry continues to heat up, the State Department has newly released documents extending the reach of the Ukraine scandal even further. Late Friday, they released that material in response to a court order in favor of the watchdog group American Oversight, and the cache reveals communications between personal Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that were not previously publicly known. Although the records leave out details like what the two of them actually discussed in a phone conversation, the communications took place while Giuliani was passionately pushing the president’s plan to exchange military aid for dirt from Ukraine on the Bidens.
‘The 100 pages of documents show repeated contact in March between Pompeo and Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, with the help of White House officials… The documents back up bombshell testimony from Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland this week alleging senior administration officials were in the loop on Trump and Giuliani’s efforts to get Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s family.’
American Oversight’s executive director Austin Evers commented, mentioning Giuliani’s campaign against now former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch:
‘We can see why Mike Pompeo has refused to release this information to Congress. It reveals a clear paper trail from Rudy Giuliani to the Oval Office to Secretary Pompeo to facilitate Giuliani’s smear campaign against a U.S. ambassador.’
Examples of the new details include a March 27 email in which then-Trump personal assistant Madeline Westerhout put Pompeo in touch with Giuliani, whose team complained that they had “been trying and getting nowhere through regular channels.” To be clear, Giuliani’s “team” includes two individuals who are now facing federal criminal charges for a scheme including funneling as much as $2 million including funds from a Russian national to U.S. political interests. In other words, implicating Pompeo in Giuliani’s scheming has potentially wide-reaching consequences.
One of Giuliani’s charged associates — Lev Parnas — apparently has details of House Intelligence Committee’s ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) meeting with former Ukrainian top prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to fire when he was on the job as vice president. He and fellow criminal Igor Fruman have both been subpoenaed by Congress, and Parnas is apparently willing to talk. The chips just keep falling.
In Pompeo’s case, impeachment inquiry witness former U.S. Special Envoy Kurt Volker told Congress that “Pompeo didn’t always support the lawyer’s dealings in Ukraine,” although being complicit in impeachable if not criminal activity while complaining about it doesn’t make you innocent. Pompeo has reportedly been mulling over the possibility of running for Senate in his home state of Kansas, but with issues from the Ukraine scandal to the trade war delivering hardship to U.S. farmers, he doesn’t exactly seem like he has a clear shot.
Public impeachment hearings focusing on the Ukraine scandal are concluded for now, but House Dems will be continuing their investigation after Thanksgiving as they continue to shine a light on Trump’s abuse of power.