Tags: house democrats | steve linick | mike pompeo | engel

House Dems Subpoena 4 Pompeo Aides in Probe of IG Firing

Brian J. Bulatao  is seen testifying during a hearing
Brian J. Bulatao testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP)

By    |   Monday, 03 August 2020 01:12 PM

A House Committee chair has issued subpoenas to four senior aides to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as part of an investigation into President Donald Trump's firing of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick.

Politico reports that House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., handed out the subpoenas Monday to Brian Bulatao, the undersecretary of State for management, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Mike Miller, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Marik String and senior adviser Toni Porter.

The committee has accused the aides of resisting interviews during the probe.

"The Administration continues to cover up the real reasons for Mr. Linick’s firing by stonewalling the Committees’ investigation and refusing to engage in good faith," Engel, House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a joint statement. "That stonewalling has made today’s subpoenas necessary."

Democrats view Bulatao as an enforcer for Pompeo and vital to their investigation. According to Politico, Linick said he attempted to bully him into staying away from investigations about Pompeo's use of taxpayer resources and stewardship of an arms sale to Saudi Arabia.

Democrats say the other aides know details about Linick's departure or of the two investigations that he said raised questions about Pompeo's actions.

After Linick testified to the House Foreign Affairs and House Oversight and Government Reform committees last month, the panels requested interviews with Bulatao and the other aides, according to Politico.

Bulatao was scheduled to appear on July 2, but his testimony was delayed over a request to review an inspector general's report on the Saudi arms sale.

Democrats agreed to delay the other witness depositions until after Bulatao's appearance, but a month later they issued the subpoenas.

Trump removed Linick from his post and in a required letter to Congress wrote that he lost confidence in him. The president said he acted at Pompeo’s asking.

Pompeo recently told reporters Linick was a "bad actor.” But at the time of his removal, Linick was looking into Pompeo.

Engel and Maloney stated they obtained testimony from a senior State official voluntarily. That official, Charles Faulker, explained String's role in the Saudi arms deal. He alleged that String helped develop the legal rationale for declaring an emergency that allowed the $8 billion sale to proceed without required congressional approvals.

"According to Mr. Faulkner, Mr. String cited 'rising tensions' in a 'decades-long' conflict among Gulf powers as a basis for such an emergency transfer," the committees stated.

The committee is looking into the strained relationship between Linick and Bulatao.

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A House Committee chair has issued subpoenas to four senior aides to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as part of an investigation into President Donald Trump's firing of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick.
house democrats, steve linick, mike pompeo, engel
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2020-12-03
Monday, 03 August 2020 01:12 PM
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