Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent a scathing letter Thursday to House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-NY, assuring him that if he wants to take an active role in pursuing his requested investigation into former State Department Inspector General Steve Linick’s dismissal, he will have the State Department’s full transparency.
The letter comes shortly after Engel declined to speak with Deputy Secretary of State Steve Biegun, who wanted to provide him with the information he needed to proceed with his probe. Linick was removed from his post after a Defense Department investigation discovered that he had sent work emails – containing sensitive information – to his personal account regarding Brian Hook, the State Department’s top Iran official. It appears that Linick was probing the Trump administration’s actions on Iran, according to the investigation.
“You and I share a responsibility to ensure the American people have the full truth about former State Department Inspector General Steve Linick,” Pompeo wrote. “I hear you’ve been busy in your District, so let me get you up to speed on what’s been going on with your Committee.”
“Two weeks ago, we offered for Under Secretary of State for Management Brian Bulatao to speak with you and all Members of your Committee. 2 This week, Deputy Secretary of State Steve Biegun asked to have a call with you to discuss our offer and how to provide you the information you seek.”
Pompeo added, “Last night, your staff informed us you personally declined to speak to both Mr. Bulatao and Mr. Biegun. Instead, you asked your staff to have this conversation on your behalf. As you stated in your June 10 press release, if ‘State Department officials want to refute Mr. Linick’s account, they can do so.’ That is precisely what we‘ve been attempting to do.”
Democrats jumped on Linick’s dismissal, saying Pompeo didn’t want Linick to do his job over allegations of misconduct between himself and his own staff.
In his letter, Pompeo offered Under Secretary Bulatao “to voluntarily testify at a public hearing before the full House Committee on Foreign Affairs. If you, Mr. Chairman, want to hear the ‘answer[s to] critical questions about why President Trump fired Mr. Linick at the request of Secretary Pompeo,’ Mr. Bulatao is prepared to unambiguously refute your incorrect accusations at a hearing on June 22 or 23 – in the morning, afternoon, or evening.”
Pompeo continued, “Please let the Deputy Secretary know if you want to afford your Members this opportunity by returning his phone call at your earliest convenience. An email from your staff will not suffice.”
Man, @SecPompeo doesn't hold back in this letter to Engel about Linick:
"I hear you've been busy in your district, so let me get you up to speed on what's been going on in your committee." pic.twitter.com/rXmmy4HcWb
— Nate Madden (@NateOnTheHill) June 12, 2020
Pompeo also attached multiple letters previously sent to Engel asserting that he spread misinformation regarding the reason for Linick’s firing.
“I regret that you, someone for whom I have great respect, have let your staff take over this historically significant, non-partisan Committee. Please find enclosed the Department’s response to your ‘investigation,'” Pompeo concluded.
House Republicans Subpoena DOJ for Records of Biden’s Interview with Special Counsel
Special Counsel Robert Hur determined that President Joe Biden not only mishandled classified documents, but he also declined to press charges against him because his advanced age and declining memory would influence a potential jury.
“Mr. Biden will likely present himself to the jury, as he did during his interview with our office, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” Hur wrote.
House Republicans have subpoenaed the Department of Justice (DOJ) for the interview transcripts, audio, notes and video files from Hur’s interview with Biden which transpired during the investigation.
“The Committees further seek to understand whether the White House or President Biden’s personal attorneys placed any limitations or scoping restrictions during the interviews with Special Counsel Hur or Mr. Mark Zwonitzer precluding or addressing any potential statements directly linking President Biden to troublesome foreign payments,” the lawmakers said in a subpoena cover letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland.
“Special Counsel Hur’s report outlined that classified documents Joe Biden stashed for years relate to countries where his family cashed in on the Biden brand. We owe it to the American people to provide transparency and accountability about the extent of Joe Biden retaining sensitive materials and the concerns raised about his current mental state and fitness to be President of the United States,” Comer said in a statement. Comer, Jordan and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R., Mo.) are leading the impeachment inquiry.
“Special Counsel Robert Hur’s investigation into President Biden’s mishandling of classified documents made two things clear: there’s a double standard of justice in this country and Joe Biden isn’t fit for office. The transcripts and materials from his investigation are critical to our oversight work,” Jordan stated.
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