If the members of the Trump administration thought that they would be able to escape accountability for their brazen political self-dealing — well, they were wrong. This Friday, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) issued a subpoena demanding a full 16,080 pages of evidence from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Specifically, Engel wants access to the material that the Pompeo-led State Department submitted to Senate Republicans as part of their conspiracy-fueled investigation into the Bidens. Engel has accused Pompeo of turning the State Department into a brazenly Trump-centered enterprise, and he wants accountability for Pompeo’s capitulation to Senate Republicans.
Engel has given Pompeo a deadline of August 7. Engel explained:
‘Secretary Pompeo has turned the State Department into an arm of the Trump campaign and he’s not even trying to disguise it. After trying to stonewall virtually every oversight effort by the Foreign Affairs Committee in the last two years, Mr. Pompeo is more than happy to help Senate Republicans advance their conspiracy theories about the Bidens. I want to see the full record of what the department has sent to the Senate and I want the American people to see it too.’
California’s Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu, who is a member of the committee, commented on Twitter:
‘Dear @SecPompeo : As Secretary of State, your job is to represent America before the world. It is not using taxpayer resources to smear Americans. (Nor is it using taxpayer resources for your own personal interests and errands). I look forward to seeing these documents.’
Dear @SecPompeo: As Secretary of State, your job is to represent America before the world. It is not using taxpayer resources to smear Americans. (Nor is it using taxpayer resources for your own personal interests and errands). I look forward to seeing these documents. https://t.co/9jOiEZUCYW
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) July 31, 2020
To be clear: the Senate Republicans’ investigation of the Bidens rests on nothing but conspiracies. Although some, including the president himself, have suggested otherwise, there is no evidence indicating that then-Vice President Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to fire a certain top prosecutor because that then-prosecutor was looking at a business his son, Hunter, was involved with. The prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, faced pressure from a slew of Western interests, and there’s not even any apparent evidence that Biden was even familiar with his son’s work with the company in question, an energy firm called Burisma.
Accusations of some kind of nefarious intent behind Joe’s advocacy for Shokin’s firing helped drive the harebrained scheme that got Trump impeached. Trump and his political allies tried to bribe Ukraine into investigating the Bidens on the basis of these allegations that Joe used his job as vice president to benefit his son. There’s no evidence of any kind of conspiracy on the then-vice president’s part, however. Basically, the president and his allies have just been doing a lot of tweeting and finger-pointing and seemingly hoping that someone can find something, as if that would make Americans suddenly forget the Trump administration’s own consistent catastrophic failures.
At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing this week, Pompeo faced pressure over an array of other subjects, including Trump’s suggestion to delay the election in light of his (completely baseless) allegations of some kind of looming threat of massive election fraud. Pompeo claimed that it would ultimately be up to the Justice Department whether or not to delay the election — but that’s not true. It’s the role of Congress to orchestrate election proceedings.
Why did Pompeo argue yesterday that the Justice Department would make the determination of the date of our Election Day when clearly he must have known that unelected bureaucrats have zero power to do so? Im genuinely curious. Just thinking about Trump's reaction? Or more?
— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) July 31, 2020