Washington—Today, Rep. Adam B. Schiff, the Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Eliot L. Engel, the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, sent a letter conveying a subpoena to Secretary of Energy Rick Perry for key documents by October 18, 2019, as part of the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.
“Recently, public reports have raised questions about any role you may have played in conveying or reinforcing the President’s stark message to the Ukrainian President,” the Chairmen wrote. “These reports have also raised significant questions about your efforts to press Ukrainian officials to change the management structure at a Ukrainian state-owned energy company to benefit individuals involved with Rudy Giuliani’s push to get Ukrainian officials to interfere in our 2020 election.”
Reports on Secretary Perry’s Involvement
On October 4, 2019, President Trump reportedly “told House Republicans that he made his now infamous phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the urging of Energy Secretary Rick Perry—a call Trump claimed he didn’t even want to make.”
In May 2019, Perry attended Zelensky’s inauguration in place of Vice President Mike Pence, who reportedly was ordered by President Trump not to attend.
On May 23, 2019, Perry attended a meeting in the Oval Office with President Trump, Ambassador Sondland, and Ambassador Kurt Volker. ccording to written congressional testimony submitted by Ambassador Volker, at that meeting, President Trump railed about Ukraine, calling it a corrupt country, full of “terrible people,” and saying, “they tried to take me down.”
According to press reports, President Trump directed Perry and State Department officials “to deal with his private attorney Rudy Giuliani when the Ukrainian President sought to meet Trump, in a clear circumvention of official channels.”
The President reportedly expressed that “if President Volodymyr Zelensky wanted to meet with him, Giuliani would have to be convinced first.”
Connection to Giuliani and Associates
According to press reports, Perry reportedly “pressed the Ukrainian president to fire members of the Naftogaz advisory board,” which was created as part of reform efforts to increase transparency, and “made clear” to Ukrainian officials and energy sector officials “that the Trump administration wanted to see the entire Naftogaz supervisory board replaced.”
According to these same reports, the proposal to install new board members at Naftogaz was reportedly championed by three donors to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign: “two Soviet-born Florida real estate entrepreneurs, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, and an oil magnate from Boca Raton, Florida, named Harry Sargeant III.”
Perry’s efforts to install new board members at Naftogaz reportedly “raised questions about whether he was seeking to provide certain Americans help in gaining a foothold in the Ukrainian energy business at a time when the new Ukrainian government was looking to the United States for signals of support in its simmering conflict with Russia.”
“The enclosed subpoena demands documents that are necessary for the Committees to examine this sequence of these events and the reasons behind the White House’s decision to withhold critical military assistance to Ukraine that was appropriated by Congress to counter Russian aggression,” the Chairmen wrote.
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