October 08, 2019

FACT SHEET: Secretary Pompeo v. Congressman Pompeo on Stonewalling Congress

Today, the State Department reportedly directed Ambassador Gordon Sondland to obstruct the House inquiry into the Trump-Ukraine scandal. Although Ambassador Sondland reportedly wanted to testify and provide documents, and despite Secretary Pompeo’s obvious conflict of interest as a participant in the Trump-Ukraine scandal, the State Department directed Ambassador Sondland not to show up. The Department is also refusing to turn over documents that Ambassador Sondland reportedly voluntarily provided to the Department in relation to the House impeachment inquiry.

In addition to impeding a valid congressional inquiry, these actions fly in the face of then-Congressman Pompeo’s purported belief that the executive branch is obligated to comply with congressional oversight. Congressman Pompeo made the statements below in relation to congressional investigations in which the Obama Administration turned over thousands of pages of documents and authorized congressional testimony and depositions of multiple senior officials, including the Secretary of State.

In contrast, Pompeo and the Trump Administration have refused to comply with subpoenas for records or authorize witness depositions. The only purpose of this stonewalling is to prevent Congress and the American people from knowing the full facts of the Trump-Ukraine scandal.

Below are just a few of Pompeo’s statements on the importance of letting Congress do its job:

  • Unless the President reverses course and provides the documents that Congress has requested, I will, next week, vote to hold the Attorney General in contempt of Congress. My colleagues and I will not cease the hunt for truth until we have the answer...” [Vote Smart, 6/20/12]
  • “Unfortunately, the Obama administration has fought us at every turn…. This investigation can only conclude when all the facts are in and the truth has been revealed.” [Kansas City  Star, 10/18/15]
  • “So I think it’s perfectly appropriate for this committee to continue to try to get to the facts of the incredibly important matter…. It’s about public perception of CIA’s role when it provides information to its committee. This is an agency that we all come to rely on, the American people need to be able to rely on it, too.” [CQ Transcriptions, 4/2/14]
  • “We’ve had to rely on discovery that has taken place outside of our investigation by groups like Judicial Watch and others who have made FOIA requests. Instead of the State Department doing what it ought to do, which is respond to a legitimate inquiry from the legislative branch, duly authorized by statute and cooperate.” [Examiner, 3/30/16]
  • “Nobody has anything approaching what we have [with congressional oversight]. You can absolutely make the case that while there’s no perfection here either, it’s the best [system] devised by humankind for a way to provide oversight…” [Politico, 3/2/14]

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