Politics Perry rejects congressional subpoena, insists resignation not related to Ukraine
4 intriguing moments from the Trump-Ukraine timeline
The Fix has been keeping a timeline of the key events. Here are some interesting convergences that haven't gotten their due attention.The value of timelines, of course, is putting a bunch of non-chronological disclosures in chronological order. And as I was doing so, it occurred to me that there are several convergences of events that were particularly interesting.
Outgoing Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Friday thatare not related to the ongoing congressional impeachment inquiry into his role in the Ukraine affair, but because he wants to spend more time with family in Texas.
The comments from Perry, who said he plans to step down by the end of the year, came on the same day he and Energy Department lawyers told Congress they would not comply with a Friday deadline to respond to a congressional subpoena to provide information related to his work in the former Soviet republic.
Mulvaney emerges as a key facilitator of the campaign to pressure Ukraine
The acting White House chief of staff circumvented the national security council and assisted those pressing Kiev to produce "deliverables" that could help President Trump politically.Instead, Mulvaney put an unlikely trio in charge of managing the U.S.-Ukraine account amid worrisome signs of a new priority, congressional officials said Tuesday: pressuring the fledgling government in Kiev to deliver material that would be politically valuable to President Trump.
Last week, the chairmen of the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees subpoenaed Perry to provide documents related to his role in U.S. energy policy in Ukraine and whether he was involved in decisions to withhold military aid.
But Perry responded Friday in a letter to the committees that, in accordance with a previous White House letter rejecting other subpoenas, he would not comply until the House votes to authorize the impeachment inquiry. Department lawyers also argue some of the documents requested are covered by executive privilege.
“Pursuant to these concerns, the Department restates the President’s position: “Given that you inquiry lacks any legitimate constitutional foundation, any pretense of fairness, or even the most elementary due process protections, the Executive Branch cannot be expected to participate in it,” the Energy letter says, citing the White House letter.
Diplomat tells investigators he raised alarms in 2015 about Hunter Biden’s Ukraine work but was rebuffed
George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state, was told in 2015 that then-Vice President Joe Biden didn’t have the “bandwidth” to deal with the matter.George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state, testified Tuesday that he worried that Hunter Biden’s position at the firm Burisma Holdings would complicate efforts by U.S. diplomats to convey to Ukrainian officials the importance of avoiding conflicts of interest, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of confidentiality rules surrounding the deposition.
With regard to his leaving Washington, Perry said, “I've been looking at this for some time,” in an interview on CNBC Friday.
“I don't think anybody's surprised that, you know, I've got a rather intense love affair with this state, my wife, this little town of Round Top where we have chosen to live. And so the lure became overwhelming for me to come back home and to spend time with the people that I really love," he said.
President Donald Trump announced Friday on Twitter that he plans to nominate Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette to replace Perry. Brouillette is an Army veteran from San Antonio, Texas, and has previously worked in the energy sector including as assistant secretary for congressional affairs at the Energy Department from 2001 to 2003. More recently he worked as an executive for Ford Motor Company and USAA.
FACTBOX-Key dates in the U.S. House's impeachment inquiry into Trump
Key dates in the U.S. House's impeachment inquiry into TrumpRep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) arrives with Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA) to hear testimony from U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland behind closed-doors, as part of the impeachment inquiry led by the House Intelligence, House Foreign Affairs and House Oversight and Reform Committees on Oct. 17.
As part of the impeachment inquiry, Perry has been subpoenaed to provide documents related to his work in Ukraine and meetings with other officials involved in the region.
Perry has said previously that he planned to cooperate with the congressional requests. But since then, the White House has defied those requests because it regards the impeachment inquiry as illegitimate without an official House vote.
Perry has been referred to by some of his colleagues as one of the "three amigos" of the administration's policy in Ukraine. Members of Congress are investigating whether the White House withheld military aid to the country or offered a White House summit on the condition Ukrainian officials investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
Perry has not been accused of wrongdoing and insists his efforts in Ukraine were focused on advancing American interests in the region by promoting reforms to address corruption and bringing in American energy companies to get Ukraine away from Russian natural gas.
Perry said he's happy with the goals he's accomplished in his time at the Energy Department, including pushing for more American natural gas in Europe and for Ukraine to tackle corruption in the country.
Democrats zero in on 'abuse of power' in impeachment inquiry
Pelosi is said to favor one sweeping charge related to Ukraine, but there's some debate about the need for additional charges.As Democrats continue closed-door depositions with critical witnesses and prepare to move to the next phase of public hearings, they are wrestling over which elements and evidence to bring in, which to leave out. The goal is to explain to the public the reasoning and relevance of any eventual impeachment charges.
"The timing was right for me. I got these big things done, the agency is in great shape, it's going to continue to be focused on the areas that are important to America. So it was a right time for me to come back home," he said in the interview.
In recent months, Perry and the Energy Department have frequently denied reports he planned to resign. Perry said Thursday morning he was one day closer to stepping down "but it ain't today." He gave Trump his resignation notice later that day.
Perry has, saying the Biden name was not brought up in his conversations with the president and other officials. Perry told Fox News he never heard the Biden name in conversations with Ukrainian officials or the White House, but that the U.S. was pushing Ukraine to crack down on corruption in the country.
He also defended White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, whothe administration did ask Ukraine for an investigation of Democrats in the 2016 election before aid money would be released. Mulvaney later said in a statement that his comments did not mean there was a "quid pro quo" but Perry said Friday that Mulvaney was being "straight up" and that the administration was "hammering" Ukraine to tackle corruption.
"People are trying to connect dots. By basically saying that there was no quid pro quo in the sense of what those folks out there would like for it to be. That we'll give you this money unless you go investigate Joe Biden and his son. I never heard that anywhere, any time, in any conversation," he said on Fox News.
6 highlights from Ukraine envoy Bill Taylor's 'explosive' testimony .
Taylor's testimony raised serious concerns about Trump's denials of a quid pro quo.In his remarkable 15-page statement before delivered to Congress on Tuesday, Trump's top diplomat to the Ukraine painted a picture of both.
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