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Politics Perry refuses to testify in House impeachment inquiry

03:50  02 november  2019
03:50  02 november  2019 Source:   thehill.com

A Divided House Endorses Impeachment Inquiry Into Trump, Moving to Public Phase

  A Divided House Endorses Impeachment Inquiry Into Trump, Moving to Public Phase A bitterly divided House of Representatives voted on Thursday to endorse the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry into President Trump.WASHINGTON — A bitterly divided House of Representatives voted on Thursday to endorse the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry into President Trump, in a historic action that set up a critical new public phase of the process and underscored the toxic political polarization that serves as its backdrop.

House lawmakers have asked outgoing Energy Secretary Rick Perry to testify as part of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President Trump, an official working on the probe told The Hill.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry will not participate in a closed-door deposition with impeachment investigators but would consider testifying in an open hearing, according to the Department of Energy.

Rick Perry wearing a suit and tie: Perry refuses to testify in House impeachment inquiry© Greg Nash Perry refuses to testify in House impeachment inquiry

Outgoing Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Friday refused a request from House impeachment investigators to testify next week as part of their inquiry into President Trump.

"The Secretary will not partake in a secret star chamber inquisition where agency counsel is forbidden to be present," Department of Energy press secretary Shaylyn Hynes wrote in a statement to The Hill.

"If the committee is interested in conducting a serious proceeding they are welcome to send for the Secretary's consideration an invitation to participate in an open hearing where the Department's counsel can be present and the American people can witness."

Analysis: House Impeachment Inquiry Vote Underscores Intense Polarization

  Analysis: House Impeachment Inquiry Vote Underscores Intense Polarization No Republicans and only two Democrats broke ranks, a sign that the inquiry is likely to remain a highly partisan affair.Not a single House Republican on Thursday joined Democrats in supporting a resolution outlining the parameters for the next stage of impeachment proceedings, despite having demanded such a vote for weeks. Just two Democrats broke from their party to oppose the investigation.

Perry 's refusal represented the latest instance of Trump's administration refusing to cooperate in the fast-moving inquiry in the House of Representatives. Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, had urged Trump to remove Yovanovitch. Yovanovitch testified in the impeachment inquiry that Trump

Energy Secretary Rick Perry had been asked to testify before the three committees leading the impeachment investigation on Wednesday.

Perry was scheduled to testify behind closed doors on Wednesday, along with acting Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Russell Vought, State Department counselor T. Ulrich Brechbuhl and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale.

In a letter sent to Democratic lawmakers earlier this month, Perry said he would not comply with a House subpoena to turn over documents tied to his involvement with Ukraine, referring to Democrats' "impeachment inquiry" in quotes and saying the probe into Trump's dealings with Ukraine was invalid.

House investigators are looking for more information on Perry's role in dealing with Ukraine, including whether he helped convey or reinforce Trump's alleged quid pro quo that tied investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden to the disbursement of military aid.

Perry has denied any wrongdoing, telling Fox News earlier this month that there was no quid pro quo and that his goal was to "get Ukraine back in the sphere of influence in the United States."

"They have to do some things. They have to show us they're going to respect the rule of law, you're going to be transparent, they're going to unbundle their midstream gas company," Perry said. "All of those things were part of him coming in. And I think that's completely and absolutely legitimate. That's what we're supposed to be doing."

Olivia Beavers contributed to this report.

Analysis: Only 3 Senate Republicans aren't defending Trump from the impeachment inquiry. Here's why. .
Mitt Romney, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski have refused to sign a resolution denouncing the House Democratic effort.While a resolution denouncing the House Democrats' fast-moving probe hasn't received a vote, GOP Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska declined to sign on as co-sponsors — the only ones out of 53 Republicans — leaving the door ajar to the possibility that they could vote to convict President Donald Trump if impeachment moves to its trial phase in the Senate.

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