Democrats To Subpoena White House For Ukraine Documents

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats pursuing an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump say they will subpoena the White House on Friday for documents related to his dealings with Ukraine, citing “flagrant disregard” of their previous requests for information.

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting at the InterContinental Barclay hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019, in New York. The conversation between Trump and Ukraine’s president is just one piece of the whistleblower’s overall complaint _ made in mid-August _ which followed Trump’s July 25 call. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting at the InterContinental Barclay hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019, in New York. The conversation between Trump and Ukraine’s president is just one piece of the whistleblower’s overall complaint _ made in mid-August _ which followed Trump’s July 25 call. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings wrote in a memo to committee members Wednesday that the action is necessary because the White House has ignored multiple requests. Given the “stark and urgent warnings” the inspector general for the intelligence community has delivered to Congress, Cummings said, the panel has “no choice but to issue this subpoena.”

FILE – In this June 12, 2019 file photo, House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., wields his gavel on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 12, 2019. Cummings says in a letter to White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney that he wants all documents “memorializing communications between President Trump and the leader of any other foreign country” that relate to Trump’s efforts to pressure the Ukrainian president. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The subpoena is directed toward acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. It requests 13 separate batches of documents related to a July phone call that Trump had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and related matters. The Oversight panel will issue the subpoena in coordination with the House intelligence and Foreign Affairs committees, Cummings said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, greets media prior his meeting with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, May 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

The action came as House and Senate staff prepared to meet with the State Department’s inspector general on Wednesday. A State Department invitation to the meeting, which was reviewed by The Associated Press, requested an “urgent” meeting with staff from eight House and Senate panels.

The invitation said only that the inspector general, Steve Linick, “would like to discuss and provide staff with copies of documents related to the State Department and Ukraine.” The documents were obtained from the State Department’s acting legal adviser, according to the email.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledged Wednesday he was on the phone call between Trump and Zelenskiy that is at the center of the impeachment inquiry. He said that as America’s chief diplomat he is well-versed in U.S. policy toward Ukraine. But Pompeo continued to push back against what he said was Democrats’ “bullying and intimidation.”

U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo speaks after meeting Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio in Rome, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Italy at the start of a four-nation tour of Europe as the push to impeach President Donald Trump gains steam at home. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

The Trump administration has set a defiant tone, resisting Congress’ access to witnesses, even as House Democrats warn such efforts themselves could amount to an impeachable offense.

Democrats have scheduled closed-door depositions Thursday with former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and next week with ousted U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.