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.