US: House panels threaten White House subpoena for docs


The chairmen of three House of Representatives committees said Wednesday they have prepared a subpoena for the White House to produce Ukraine-related documents as part of their impeachment investigation into U.S. President Donald Trump. 

“Over the past several weeks, the Committees tried several times to obtain voluntary compliance with our requests for documents, but the White House has refused to engage with—or even respond to—the Committees,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings wrote in a memo notifying his committee of the intent to issue the subpoena.

The chairmen said in a corresponding statement that the White House has repeatedly refused to comply with their earlier requests, that began Sept. 9, to produce the documents.

The subpoena will be issued Friday if the White House fails to comply with the previous requests.

“The White House’s flagrant disregard of multiple voluntary requests for documents—combined with stark and urgent warnings from the Inspector General about the gravity of these allegations—have left us with no choice but to issue this subpoena,” Cummings wrote.

The subpoena would be the latest issued by the committees. Last Friday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee subpoenaed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and the House Intelligence Committee subpoenaed Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney.

The House began its impeachment investigation into Trump last week. At issue is a July 25 phone conversation the president had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump repeatedly pressed Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, over unsubstantiated claims of corruption.

The elder Biden is the leading Democratic candidate heading into next year’s presidential elections, making him a clear political rival to Trump.

Soliciting the assistance of a foreign leader to undermine Biden has raised questions of election interference that have been the foundation for the House’s impeachment investigation.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing, maintaining his call with Zelensky was “perfect” while seeking to undermine the whistleblower whose complaint brought the phone call and other related matters to the public’s attention.

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