Energy Secretary Rick Perry has been subpoenaed as part of the House’s ongoing impeachment inquiry, the committees pursuing the inquiry announced Thursday.
In a letter to Perry, the House committees on Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight outlined documents the secretary is required to turn over. Failure to do so, the committees warned, would constitute evidence of obstruction of the inquiry.
The extensive document list demanded is partially based on new reporting on Perry’s interactions in Ukraine, and especially recent reporting about his alleged effort to change the composition of the board of the Ukrainian state-run natural gas firm Naftogaz.
Also mentioned was Trump’s reported effort to blame the July 25 call he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Perry. On that call, a memorandum of which the White House later released, Trump repeatedly pressured Zelensky to pursue investigations that would be helpful to Trump’s 2020 reelection bid.
After the fallout from the call prompted the House’s impeachment inquiry, Trump reportedly blamed Perry for it happening in the first place.
“Not a lot of people know this but, I didn’t even want to make the call,” Trump reportedly told House Republicans in a conference call, Axios reported. “The only reason I made the call was because Rick asked me to. Something about an LNG [liquefied natural gas] plant.”
The request also focuses on Perry’s interactions with other key witnesses to Trump’s Ukraine outreach, especially in an Oval Office meeting with Trump, EU ambassador Gordon Sondland, and then-U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker after Zelensky’s inauguration.
According to testimony from Volker about that meeting — which was cited in the letter to Perry Thursday — Trump said of Ukrainian politicians, “They’re all corrupt, and they tried to take me down.”