“The administration continues to cover up the real reasons for Mr Linique’s dismissal by blocking the committee’s investigation and refusing to commit in good faith,” said Engel, chairman of Carolin Maloney’s (DN.Y.) oversight and Senator Bob Menendez (DN). J.), the chief Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a joint statement. “This stone wall made today’s summonses necessary.”
Bulatao is seen by Democrats as a link in their investigation, as a kind of coercer of Pompeo, who Linick said tried to harass him from deviating from sensitive investigations into the use of Pompeo by taxpayers and the leadership of arms sales in Saudi Arabia. . Other aides, Democrats say, were aware of the circumstances of Linic̵
Bulatao was due to appear on July 2, but Democrats postponed a State Department request for a delay on the eve of their testimony, citing the need to review the recently concluded report of the Inspector General of Arms Sales in Saudi Arabia. Democrats also agreed to postpone the statements of other witnesses until Bulatao appeared, but their patience ran out by Monday.
In a letter to Congress after removing Linick, Trump said he had lost confidence in the department’s overseer. But when pressed directly, Trump said he removed Linick at Pompeo’s request and did not know many details about the inspector general’s work. State Department aides have dismissed allegations that Pompeo or Bulatao acted improperly, claiming that Linicus himself was the one acting incorrectly. Pompeo recently told reporters that Linick is a “bad actor” in the department and does not adequately play the role of IG.
The escalation between the commissions and the State Department follows what seemed like a breakthrough last week when Pompeo’s executive secretary Lisa Kena told senators she would commit to appearing with investigators on Aug. 7, part of a package deal with other witnesses involved in the probe . This agreement marks a resumption of tensions between the State Department and the Democratic House, which called for documents from the ministry as they were investigated for impeachment, but ultimately received none.
In their subpoena, Engel and Maloney said they had provided testimony voluntarily from a senior government official. This official, Charles Volker, described String’s role in the arms deal in Saudi Arabia, suggesting that String helped develop the legal basis for declaring a state of emergency, which allowed the $ 8 billion sale to continue without the necessary congressional approval.
“According to Mr Faulkner, Mr String cited ‘growing tensions’ in the ‘long decade’ of the Gulf conflict as the basis for such an urgent transfer,” the committees said.
Last week, Engel called on Pompeo to present another set of documents: the ones the State Department had already shared with Senate Republicans investigating Joe Biden’s relationship with Ukraine are part of what Democrats say is a blurred campaign that heightens misinformation. for Biden’s role in leading diplomacy as a decisive European partner.
The tense relations between Linick and Bulatao are at the heart of the committee’s investigation. Bulatao told the commission that Linick was investigating the work of his own office with a sensitive report of political revenge inside the State Department that leaked to the media before its release. Linick was released from this probe by Pentagon guard Glenn Fine, whom Linick had asked to conduct the examination.
Linique told lawmakers he was under pressure to stop investigating arms sales in Saudi Arabia, which Pompeo’s allies said was a political dispute rather than a matter of governance. Linick said his response was that he was investigating the implementation of the policy, which is within the scope of the inspector general. Linic also stressed that Bulatao was among a small internal circle of Pompeo’s aides who were briefed on his ongoing study of Pompeo’s use of state resources.
Linick also investigates the role of Pompeo’s wife, Susan Pompeo, who plays in the department, and whether she and her husband misused State Department officials to carry out personal orders for them.