Engel subpoenas State Dept. for Biden documents given to Senate Republicans

Engel subpoenas State Dept. for Biden documents given to Senate Republicans

Rep. Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, subpoenaed the State Department Friday demanding copies of documents that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has already provided to Senate Republicans investigating Joe Biden.

Engel indicated he subpoenaed the documents because the department had ignored his initial request to share copies of any material being provided to the Senate. Democrats view the Senate GOP investigation, led by Sen. Ron Johnson’s Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, as an effort to smear Biden on false corruption allegations related to his diplomacy in Ukraine.

“After trying to stonewall virtually every oversight effort by the Foreign Affairs Committee in the last two years, Mr. Pompeo is more than happy to help Senate Republicans advance their conspiracy theories about the Bidens,” Engel said in a statement. “I want to see the full record of what the department has sent to the Senate and I want the American people to see it too.”

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Engel has threatened to subpoena for the documents since May, when Johnson’s probe began ramping up.

Johnson has indicated that a report on his findings could be released this summer, and his panel is also attempting to obtain testimony from top Obama administration national security and diplomatic officials. He has denied that his investigation is meant as a political cudgel or is being influenced by foreign interests seeking to hurt Biden.

The House impeached President Donald Trump last year for pushing Ukraine’s leaders to investigate Biden and other Democrats, and withholding security assistance to the country — amid its war with Russia — to exert pressure.

Trump allies responded by leveling discredited allegations that Biden pressured Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who was investigating Burisma, an energy company for which his son Hunter served on the board. State Department leaders testified during impeachment proceedings that Biden’s work in Ukraine was done in accordance with department policy, and that efforts to remove the prosecutor were part of an international push to root out corruption. They also noted that the prosecutor himself was an impediment to investigating Burisma.

More recently, top Democrats have cited intelligence suggesting that at least some of the anti-Biden efforts are being fueled by Kremlin-aligned Ukrainians seeking to interfere in the 2020 election.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer have demanded an all-Congress FBI briefing about intelligence they say shows a specific foreign plot to influence congressional action.

After attending a general election security briefing, Pelosi on Friday morning blasted the administration for “withholding” evidence of foreign interference.

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