US House committee subpoenas White House for Ukraine-related documents
The US House Committee on Oversight and Reform issued a subpoena Friday to the White House, seeking documents related to President Donald Trump's interactions with Ukraine, the subject of an ongoing impeachment inquiry into the president.
The subpoena was issued in consultation with House intelligence and foreign affairs committees.
In a letter to Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel urged the official to produce documents by Oct. 18.
"Your failure or refusal to comply with the request, including at the direction or behest of the President or others at the White House, shall constitute evidence of obstruction of justice of the House's impeachment inquiry and may be used as an adverse inference against you and the President," the chairmen warned Mulvaney.
The action is part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry into Trump stemming from a whistleblower complaint alleging that the president pressured his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, during a July 25 phone call to investigate Joe Biden, Democratic presidential candidate for the 2020 election, as well as issues related to alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.
"We deeply regret that President Trump has put us - and the nation - in this position, but his actions have left us with no choice but to issue this subpoena," the chairmen wrote.
Cummings in a memo on Wednesday notified committee members of the intent to subpoena the White House, citing the reason that the White House has refused to engage with -- or even respond to the three committees' several efforts in the past to obtain voluntary compliance with our requests for documents.
Trump said he would leave it to his lawyers to decide whether to comply with the subpoena.
The president told reporters earlier Friday that he would issue a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who announced the impeachment inquiry on Sept. 24, in response to Congress' request for documents.
White House lawyers were reportedly drafting a letter saying they could not be compelled to produce documents until the full House votes to open an impeachment inquiry.