Politics House panel halts contempt proceedings against Pompeo after documents turned over
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The House Foreign Affairs Committee is halting contempt proceedings against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after the State Department gave the panel documents it had sought.
Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the panel, said the State Department handed over documents that had been given to Senate Republicans in their investigation into Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as well as those it gave to the Senate after President Trump's impeachment.
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Engel had subpoenaed the documents and threatened to hold Pompeo in contempt if he did not give them to House Democrats.
"It shouldn't have taken a subpoena, let alone the threat of contempt, for Secretary Pompeo to comply with the Committee's oversight request," Engel said in a statement Friday. "Nevertheless, I'm gratified that we've received these materials and can review them before Senate Republicans issue their report."
The controversy surrounded two batches of documents the House committee had asked the State Department to provide. The first is regarding documents involving the House impeachment investigation into Trump's withholding of military assistance to Ukraine. Engel was also asking for documents the State Department has provided to two Republican-controlled Senate committees that are probing Biden's work in Ukraine during his time as vice president.
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The pressure campaign from Engel came as his committee is investigating Pompeo over whether he has misused government resources for political reasons.
The State Department had initially rebuffed Democrats' request for documents it sent to the two Senate committees, saying it was not obliged to provide the information on Biden because the foreign affairs panel is investigating Pompeo, not allegations against the former vice president.
Engel repeated past condemnations of the Senate GOP probes, accusing Pompeo of aiding Republicans' efforts to hurt Biden heading into the presidential election.
"This 'investigation' is obviously designed to boost the president's campaign and tear down his opponent while our own Intelligence Community warns it is likely to amplify Russian disinformation," Engel said. "We're going to make sure the American people see the whole picture, not just cherrypicked information aimed at breathing new life into debunked conspiracy theories."
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