Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., on Thursday called on the State Department's inspector general to formally investigate the agency's withholding of nearly $400 million in security assistance to Ukraine.
"Through information you provided to congressional committees and admissions by President [Donald] Trump's agent, Rudy Giuliani, it appears that Secretary [Mike] Pompeo may have inappropriately and unlawfully leveraged State Department resources — paid for by U.S. taxpayers — to cause an investigation solely designed to advance President Trump's personal and political agenda," Menendez wrote to Inspector General Steve Linick.
Menendez, 65, is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He is in his third Senate term.
His letter came a day after Linick gave 79 pages of unclassified documents to Senate and House committee staffers concerning false information about Marie Yovanovitch, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, whom Trump fired in May.
Linick told Congress he did not know where the documents came from, but after an "urgent" meeting with the committees Wednesday, Giuliani told NBC News he gave the documents "directly to the secretary of state," in March.
Menendez also urged the IG to specifically probe the roles of Pompeo and Ulrich Brechbuhl, the State Department's counselor, in light of Giuliani's "admissions and the apparent relationship between Giuliani's efforts in relation to these documents and the broader Trump-Ukraine scandal."
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