Pompeo Once Again Tells Congress to Pound Sand

White House/ZUMA

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As part of the House impeachment inquiry, the House Foreign Affairs Committee has asked for voluntary testimony from five employees of the State Department. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s response was crystal clear: go pound sand. His response says, in order, that the House request is legal BS; it provides too little time to prepare; it denies opportunity for counsel; it asks for too many documents; and it’s nonsense to suggest that if they don’t appear it constitutes obstruction. It is nothing more than an attempt to “intimidate, bully, and treat improperly the distinguished professionals of the Department of State.”

So that will be the Fox News line on all of this. But what will be the Democratic reponse? Pompeo makes no bones that he will throw up every roadblock he possibly can: “I will use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attemps to intimidate the dedicated professionals whom I am proud to lead and serve alongside at the Department of State.”

These things always end up in negotiations between the relevant staffs, and perhaps the request and Pompeo’s response are merely maximal opening bids. But I bet not. I hope the House committee is ready to issue subpoenas quickly if, as I expect, the negotiations go nowhere.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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