Energy Secretary Rick Perry is the latest top official in President Donald Trump‘s administration who has officially refused to comply with a House-issued subpoena that he was sent in early October requesting information related to his involvement with Trump’s Ukraine phone call to the Ukrainian president.
According to The Hill, the U.S Department of Energy penned a letter to House Democrats on Friday — the official deadline for Perry’s compliance with the subpoena — in which he not only refused to comply, but took the opportunity to downplay the validity of the impeachment inquiry investigation, reportedly using quotes around the term “impeachment inquiry.”
“As the Supreme Court has long recognized, a Congressional committee cannot exercise the investigative power of the full House of Representatives unless it has that power through proper delegation,” the letter read, referring to the lack of an official House vote to launch an impeachment inquiry into the president.
Trump and several of his associates are under the investigative microscope to determine, in part, if Trump withheld U.S. military aide from Ukraine in a quid pro quo attempt to pressure the nation to investigate former vice president Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. House Democrats have accused the president of using his power in an attempt to gather political ammunition for what could be his 2020 presidential election rival.
Several House committee chairs sent Perry a letter in early October in which they expressed interest in what role Perry played in the entire controversy.
“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,” their letter to Perry read.
As other Trump administration officials have repeatedly insisted, Perry claimed that the president’s phone call to the Ukrainian leader wasn’t a quid pro quo exchange.
“There was no quid pro quo in the sense of what those folks out there would like for it to be,” Perry told Fox News’ Bill Hemmer on Friday morning.
He went on to say that the administration was simply attempting to force Ukraine to be more transparent and wanted Ukrainian leadership to undo corruption that may have taken place within their country.
“They have to do some things. They have to show us they’re going to respect the rule of law, you’re going to be transparent, they’re going to unbundle their midstream gas company. All of those things were part of him coming in. And I think that’s completely and absolutely legitimate,” Perry told Fox News.
Perry’s refusal to comply with the House subpoena comes one day after he reportedly told Trump on an Air Force One flight that intends to resign from his position, though no date was given.