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  • U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York, U.S. Sep. 23, 2019.

    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York, U.S. Sep. 23, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 28 September 2019
Opinion

The House Democratic committees have also scheduled depositions for five Department of State officials in the next two weeks.

The Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight Committees on Friday requested Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to submit documents related to the investigation that the U.S. House of Representatives is carrying out on the contacts between U.S. President Donald Trump and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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Those committees also summoned five Department of State (DOS) officials to testify at the so-called Ukrainegate, an investigation process which Senator Nancy Pelosi ordered formally to begin this week.

​Among those officials are the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, former Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland.

The requests made by the House committees are preceded by the political scandal that began with a phone call on July 25 whereby Trump asked Zelensky to investigate the Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his family for alleged corruption in Ukraine.

A week before his call with Zelensky, the U.S. President blocked the transfer of about US$400 million in military aid to the European country.

A whistleblower complaint from within the intelligence community was released publicly on Sep.24, which prompted the launch of an impeachment investigation of Trump.

U.S. representatives have being looking forward to getting a testimony from Volker relating to the July 25 phone call, for such a complaint described him as trying to “contain the damage” from efforts by Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani to press Ukraine to investigate Democrats.

Secretary Pompeo on Thursday tried to separate the DOS from the Ukrainegate, claiming that his department officials have displayed appropriate behavior.

"As far as I know, and from what I've seen so far, each of the actions taken by State Department officials were completely adequate and consistent with the objective we have had," Pompeo said.

For his part, Giuliani, who is described at the complaint as one of the plot's central figures, said that his contacts with Ukraine occurred due to a State Department request.

On Friday, it was announced that Kurt Volker had resigned. Motives are unknown so far.

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