US House Foreign Affairs Committee announces contempt proceedings against Pompeo
© WikiMedia (Gage Skidmore)
US House Foreign Affairs Committee announces contempt proceedings against Pompeo

The Chairman of the US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs announced Friday that the Committee would begin contempt proceedings against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, amid his refusal to comply with a subpoena for records into his “transparently political misuse of Department resources.”

Three separate House committees sent Pompeo multiple letters in September 2019, asking for documents related to President Trump’s official impeachment inquiry. The request went unfulfilled. “Your continued refusal to provide the requested documents not only prevents our committees from fully investigating these matters,” one letter said, “but impairs Congress’ ability to fulfill its Constitutional responsibilities to protect our national security and the integrity of our democracy.”

As part of the Committee’s investigation of Pompeo’s attempt to “aid two Republican-led Senate committees’ smears to undermine the President’s political rival,” Chairman Eliot Engel issued another subpoena last month. Accordingly, Pompeo directed staffers to provide over 16,000 pages of documents to the other two House committees—and not the Committee on Foreign Affairs, which has primary jurisdiction over the State Department. The statement credits this “ongoing defiance” as leaving the Committee with “no further option but to begin drafting a resolution finding Secretary Pompeo in contempt of Congress.”

Chairman Engel also cited the Pompeo’s “willingness to bolster a Senate Republican-led smear against the President’s political rivals” as well as the Jerusalem-based speech the Secretary delivered for this week’s Republican National Convention. “He seems to think the office he holds, the Department he runs, the personnel he oversees, and the taxpayer dollars that pay for all of it are there for his personal and political benefit.”

Referring to Pompeo’s speech, Chairman Engel said Pompeo “defied his own guidance and possibly the law” and has “demonstrated alarming disregard for the law and rules governing his own conduct and for the tools the Constitution provides to prevent government corruption.”