Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday intensified their impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump, saying they would subpoena White House records concerning his July telephone call with Ukraine’s leader and warning administration officials not to obstruct the probe.
Asked at a news conference whether he would comply with the Democrats’ request for recordings, transcripts and other documents, Trump said that “I always cooperate,” but added that he considered the impeachment inquiry a hoax and stated, “We’ll see what happens.” The subpoena request has the potential to become a flashpoint in the showdown between the Republican president and the Democratic-led House of Representatives.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a close ally of Trump, acknowledged earlier in the day during a trip to Italy that he had listened in on the call in which the Republican president asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate a domestic political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.
The call prompted the House to launch its impeachment inquiry last week. Pompeo’s admission came a day after he objected to Democratic efforts as part of the impeachment inquiry to obtain depositions from five current and former State Department officials.
“We’re not fooling around here, though. We don’t want this to drag on months and months and months, which appears to be the administration’s strategy,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, whose panel leads the inquiry, told a news conference alongside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.