Politics Rep. Engel agrees to drop Pompeo subpoena now that he has Biden documents

05:41  19 september  2020
05:41  19 september  2020 Source:   cnn.com

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House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel on Friday agreed to withdraw a subpoena he had issued in July against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after the State Department turned over more than 16,000 pages of documents the committee had sought, the panel announced.

Eliot Engel wearing a suit and tie: In this January 28, 2020, file photo, Rep. Eliot Engel, D-NY, speaks  in Washington. © Samuel Corum/Getty Images In this January 28, 2020, file photo, Rep. Eliot Engel, D-NY, speaks in Washington.

The department had previously provided the documents to Senate Republicans as part of their investigations involving Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and the work of his son Hunter Biden at the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, the panel said Friday.

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"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."

Congressional Democrats have criticized the State Department for stonewalling their requests while complying with Republican ones. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, and Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, have sought a host of records on the Bidens and Burisma -- including on the same day last winter that the Senate voted to acquit President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial.

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That trial centered largely on Trump's attempts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Hunter and Joe Biden, and the President and his allies have repeatedly made unfounded and false claims alleging that the former vice president and his son acted corruptly in Ukraine.

CNN has reached out to the State Department, Johnson and Grassley for comment.

A State Department spokesperson claimed in July that the department had a history of accommodating Engel's "legitimate investigative requests" and accused him of "(ceding) the Committee and its oversight duties to his misguided staff."

The spokesperson said it is not common practice for the department to turn over copies of documents to a congressional committee that it produces in response to requests from a separate committee.

Engel suggested Friday that his panel would publicly share some of the information in the newly acquired documents.

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"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 continued. "We're going to make sure the American people see the whole picture, not just cherry-picked information aimed at breathing new life into debunked conspiracy theories."

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