Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding the hearing with Under Secretary of State for Management Brian Bulatao as part of the Committee’s investigation into the firing of former State Department Inspector General Steve Linick:
“I spoke with Deputy Secretary Biegun this afternoon, who told me that the State Department has received the Inspector General’s report about the administration’s emergency declaration used to ram through $8 billion in arms sales last year. Mr. Biegun requested that we delay tomorrow’s hearing to allow time for the Department’s expedited review of the report and its subsequent release by the IG’s office. Despite the Department’s earlier unconditional offer for Mr. Bulatao’s testimony, I’ve decided to postpone the proceeding. As I agreed with the Deputy Secretary, Mr. Bulatao will appear at a hearing of the Foreign Affairs Committee later in July.
“Mr. Biegun also requested that I defer depositions with other witnesses until after Mr. Bulatao’s testimony. While I considered his request, time is short and the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Oversight and Reform Committee must move ahead with the investigation by continuing to review documents and to interview witnesses. The Department has had the opportunity to work with us on witness accommodations since the witnesses were first invited on May 22, and they declined to do so. I hope the Department will follow the pattern set during the impeachment inquiry and cover the cost of the witnesses’ private counsel.”
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