Washington US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has protested against pre-trial summons for possible impeachment of President Donald Trump. Democrats tried to intimidate and harass his ministry staff, he wrote in a letter to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Because of severe procedural and legal shortcomings of the subpoenas are the statements on the dates specified “not feasible,” it said on Tuesday in a letter Pompeo to the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Democrat Eliot Engel. Among other things, Pompeo complained that the deadlines set by the Democrats for the coming days did not allow sufficient time for the parties concerned and the ministry to prepare.
Committee chairmen Adam Schiff, Eliot Engel and Elijah Cummings accused Pompeo of intimidating attempts. Any attempt to prevent witnesses from speaking to Congress is illegal, and possibly impeding the judiciary in the impeachment investigation, they wrote to the minister.
The subpoenas are part of investigations into potential impeachment of US President Donald Trump. He is accused of pressuring Ukrainian President Volodimir Selenski in a telephone conversation in late July to investigate what would harm his Democratic rival Joe Biden. The Democrats controlling the House of Representatives see it as an attempt by the Republican president to manipulate the November 2020 presidential election. Trump rejects the allegations.
Democrats' sights on the investigation are increasingly the personal advocate Trumps, Rudy Giuliani. The chairmen of three committees in the House of Representatives called Giuliani on Monday evening (local time) with a so-called subpoena under threat of punishment until 15 October to submit documents. The letter to Giuliani stated that they were investigating allegations that he had helped the President abuse his office. Giuliani left open whether he would follow the Subpoena.
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Giuliani criticized on Twitter that Subpoena had been signed by three Democratic committee chairmen, who had already passed their verdict on the matter. The call raises questions about its legitimacy and attorney's privilege. The Democratic Committee Chairmen also invited three business partners Giulianis.
Giuliani is said to have led as a personal envoy Trumps on official channels past talks with Ukraine to launch an investigation against Biden. Trump and Giuliani accuse the former US Vice President Biden of having sought the dismissal of the Ukrainian Attorney General to protect Biden's son from the judiciary. Hunter Biden was working for a gas company, which has since been investigated for allegedly crooked business. Joe Biden – who is applying for the Democratic presidential candidacy – rejects the allegations.
Pompeo, referring to the subpoena for his staff, criticized the statement as “only to be understood as an attempt to intimidate, harass, and inappropriately treat the respected foreign ministry staff.” In a letter to Pompeo, the three committee chairmen summoned a total of five members of the Foreign Ministry on Friday. Among them is the former Special Envoy for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, who has submitted his resignation according to US media reports.
The chairmen of the examining committees in the House of Representatives then criticized Pompeo's refusal position. They called on him under threat of punishment not to intimidate witnesses or to prevent a statement from the congress. These included the witnesses who worked for the State Department, it said.
Trump is said to have also asked Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to assist with investigations designed to discredit Special Forensight investigator Robert Mueller's investigation. Mueller had investigated whether Russia helped Trump in the US election campaign in 2016. Trump had resisted Mueller's investigation.
In a telephone conversation with Morrison, Trump asked the Australian to work with US Attorney William Barr on the matter, the New York Times reported Monday, citing two unnamed officials. Trump and Barr endeavored to discredit the results of Mueller's investigation. A spokesman for the Australian government confirmed Trump's conversation with Morrison on request. The Australian government has always been ready to help bring “more light into matters,” he said.
The “New York Times” further reported that the transcript of the conversation with Morrison had been stored in a particularly secure system, in keeping with the controversial telephone conversation with Selenskyj Trump, in order to keep the conversation as secret as possible. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had begun its investigation into possible ties between Russia and Trump's election campaign in 2016 following a tip from the Australian intelligence service.
Mueller had been investigating for two years whether there had been any collusion between the Trump camp and Russian representatives in the presumed Russian influence on the US presidential election of 2016, and whether Trump, as president, had later obstructed justice investigations. At the end of March, Mueller submitted his report, but leaves open whether Trump was guilty of obstructing justice. Mueller stressed that he had not relieved Trump. The US president saw himself as relieved.
Further: Before the threat of impeachment because of the Ukraine affair, the US President goes on the offensive. His party is standing by him – yet.
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