Energy Secretary Rick Perry refused to say Wednesday whether he would answer a House subpoena seeking information on his role in the Ukraine controversy that sparked Democrats’ impeachment probe.
“The House has sent a subpoena over for the records that we have, and our general counsel and the White House counsel are going through the process right now,” Perry said on Fox Business Wednesday morning. “I’m going to follow the lead of my counsel on that.”
Perry later refused to address a question on impeachment during a press call this morning focused on the secretary’s upcoming trip to Brussels. But the White House has previously said it would not cooperate with the impeachment inquiry focused on President Donald Trump’s effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
House Democrats wish to know more about Perry’s role in U.S.-Ukraine diplomacy as one of the “three amigos,” a group of Trump allies placed in charge of foreign relations in the country over the heads of career diplomats. Perry became a target for the probe when a whistleblower report noted that he substituted for Vice President Mike Pence as the head of the U.S. delegation to the inauguration of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said she didn’t discuss Perry’s role in the unfolding Ukrainian scandal nor reports of his forthcoming departure from the administration when she saw him in Iceland last week. She also declined to state whether he should comply with the Democratic subpoena as part of its impeachment inquiry.
“That’s something they’re all trying to work through,” she told reporters. “The administration has made pretty clear they don’t think anyone should comply, but that’s what they got to work through.”
Her Democratic counterpart, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), disagreed and said Perry should comply with the subpoena and added evading one is inconsistent Perry’s character. The two men knew each other well while serving as governors of their states.
“Absolutely, everybody should comply with the subpoena,” he said. “It’s not his character whatsoever [not to]. I know deep down he would want to do it.”