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Democrats subpoena Rick Perry for documents in impeachment inquiry

POLITICO logo POLITICO 5 days ago By Andrew Desiderio and Kyle Cheney

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Video by Reuters

House Democrats issued a subpoena on Thursday to Energy Secretary Rick Perry as part of their ongoing impeachment inquiry.

The subpoena demands a series of documents related to Perry's knowledge of President Donald Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump pushed his counterpart to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

Three House committees investigating the episode note that Perry reportedly encouraged Trump to make the phone call. They also want information about whether Perry sought to press the Ukrainian government to make changes to the advisory board of its state-owned oil and gas company, Naftogaz.

POLITICO previously reported that Perry asked the company to expand its board to include Americans, though he said he offered suggestions only at the request of the Ukrainian government. POLITICO has reported Perry intends to depart the administration within months, though he denied the report earlier this week.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry speaks during a news conference after the Partnership for Transatlantic Energy Cooperation conference in Vilnius, Lithuania October 7, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins © Thomson Reuters U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry speaks during a news conference after the Partnership for Transatlantic Energy Cooperation conference in Vilnius, Lithuania October 7, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins News reports suggest associates of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani had sought the changes to the Naftogaz board to gain a foothold in the country’s energy sector. Those associates, Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas, were arrested Thursday on campaign finance and conspiracy charges.

The indictment alleged that Fruman and Parnas orchestrated a straw donation scheme to help fund Republican campaigns and organizations from foreign donors — and that they pushed for the ouster of former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. Yovanovitch is set to be deposed Friday as part of the impeachment inquiry.

The subpoena also requests records and communications related to the May inauguration of Zelensky, for which Perry led the U.S. delegation. And it seeks records related to a host of meetings abroad and at the White House that Perry attended along with senior Ukrainian officials.

The Energy Department did not immediately respond to request for comment.

The subpoena has a deadline of Oct. 18.

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