Washington, May 21, 2020—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today decried the politicization of the State Department to support Senate Republicans’ political smear of presumptive Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. Writing to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chairman Engel pointed to the Department’s production of thousands of pages of documents purported to deal with Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings and the Bidens at the request of Republican Senate chairmen, while stonewalling virtually every request from the Committee on Foreign Affairs, including blanket defiance of a duly issued subpoena as part of the impeachment inquiry.
Chairman Engel wrote, “As the coronavirus spread from overseas and began to ravage American cities, scarce State Department resources were expended on producing documents to advance conspiracy theories damaging to the Biden campaign. The women and men of the State Department are consummate professionals who have dedicated their careers to promoting the interests of all Americans around the world. Congress and the American people will not tolerate shady efforts to coopt their work on behalf of the President’s reelection campaign.”
Beginning in November 2019, the Senate Committees on Finance and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs began requesting documents related to Burisma Holdings and Hunter Biden. An April 30, 2020 letter from Senators Grassley and Johnson to Secretary Pompeo refers to “material produced by the State Department,” and a May 6, 2020 letter to Pompeo from Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden indicates that the Department had produced more than 4,000 pages of documents. Earlier this month, Chairman Engel requested duplicates of all such records from the State Department, but his request went unanswered.
In today’s letter, Chairman Engel reiterated his request that the Department produce to the Committee on Foreign Affairs duplicates of all records dealing with Burisma and Joe and Hunter Biden that have been transmitted to the Senate Committees on Finance and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, as well as all records and information responsive to a list of overdue requests from the Committee.
“It is my preference that the State Department will provide this information voluntarily,” wrote Chairman Engel. “However, if the requested documents are not produced in full by the close of business on June 1, 2020, then I am prepared to issue subpoenas for the relevant documents and the testimony of relevant Department officials.”