Secretary of State Mike Pompeo admitted on Wednesday that he was on the July 25 phone call between Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Pompeo maintained his stance that the phone call, which is at the center of the House impeachment inquiry, was on the up and up, and claims that Democrats are attempting to bully and intimidate him with their inquiry.
House Democrats have warned the White House that any attempts to defy its impeachment inquiry could in itself be an impeachable offense, but the secretary of state struck a defiant tone during his interview with the House committee, according to AP News.
“Any effort to intimidate witnesses or prevent them from talking with Congress — including State Department employees — is illegal and will constitute evidence of obstruction of the impeachment inquiry,” said three members of the House oversight committee investigating Pompeo and Trump.
Pompeo has attempted to delay multiple different testimonies from people involved in the phone call. On Wednesday, Pompeo said that the State Department would “do our Constitutional duty to cooperate” with the investigation but said that he wouldn’t stand for any “bullying and intimidation.”
During the exchange, he revealed that he “was on the phone call” between Zelensky and Trump. That call became the center of the House impeachment investigations after it was alleged by an anonymous whistleblower that the president had pushed Zelensky to investigate one of the Democratic front-runners in the 2020 presidential race. Reportedly, Trump asked the Ukrainian leader repeatedly to investigate Joe Biden and his son, presumably to hamper the former’s run for office.
Trump has ramped up efforts to paint the inquiry as an attempt by Democrats to remove him from office unfairly and against the will of the people.
Earlier this week, as The Inquisitr reported, Trump claimed that the country would have a civil war if he was removed from office, alarming people on both sides of the aisle.
“If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from office (which they will never be), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal,” Trump said.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2019
Adam Kinzinger, a Republican Congressman from Illinois, pushed back against the president’s statement.
“I have visited nations ravaged by civil war,” Kinzinger said. “I have never imagined such a quote to be repeated by a President. This is beyond repugnant.”
Later in the week, on Tuesday evening, Trump called the impeachment a “coup” that was intended to violate the power of the people.