Listen: State Department, Ukraine, Congress discussed on Erin Burnett OutFront
"Out Front next breaking news the State Department Inspector General just requesting an urgent briefing on Capitol Hill about Ukraine one congressional aide calling the request highly unusual and cryptically worded plus a key witness mentioned multiple times in the whistleblower complaint about the president's call to Ukraine agreeing to testify. How key could he be and twenty twenty. Democrats reporting new fundraising numbers tens of millions of dollars raise. What does this mean for the crowded field going forward forward. Let's go out front good evening everyone. I'm Kate Baldwin in for Erin Burnett out front tonight. We have breaking news in the fast moving impeachment impeachment investigation the State Department Inspector General has just requested an urgent briefing tomorrow on Capitol Hill according to sources the meeting is related to documents on Ukraine the timing unusual to say the least given one that Congress is on recess but also because of the fact that just hours before for the secretary of State. Mike Pompeo made clear to house Democrats that he's not going to comply with their requests in this investigation just a short time ago. House Democrats responded pompilio saying this any effort to intimidate witnesses or prevent them from talking with Congress including State Department employees is illegal and will constitute D- evidence of obstruction of the impeachment inquiry. It's interesting word choice there because just this morning pompeo very same when he told the House essentially tobacco off writing this in part. I'm concerned with aspects of your request that can be understood only as an attempt to intimidate bully and treat improperly the distinguished professionals specials of the Department of State Pumpido adding that he will not tolerate such tactics. This is all about the house request to depose five State Department Officials Maharajas Rajas out front live from Capitol Hill Mono yet another day and a lot of developments happening but the very latest. What are you learning about. This quote unquote urgent needing that the State Department with the State Department. I G tomorrow well. I'm told by multiple congressional sources that this request for this five briefing in a secure room in the US this capital tomorrow came after my Palm Peyot made those remarks to sent that letter Capitol Hill saying essentially that the State Department was is now ready to comply with the Democrats request a subpoena for documents related to the Ukraine matter and the Democrats scheduling depositions for five former and current State Department officials. I'm told about an hour after the palm payoff letter came out the inspector general sent at cryptically worded letter header highly unusual letter to several house and Senate committees asking for an urgent briefing in this very brief invade letter I the inspector general says that he has obtained some documents from the legal adviser of the State Department and also says relates to the Ukraine matter now. Oh it's uncertainty of course what exactly this means but of course what drove this impeachment investigation was a separate inspector general of the intelligence community who deemed whistle blowers blowers complaint urgent incredible the complaint as we know now raise concerns about the president's phone call he had with the Ukrainian president which useful blower allege edge was part of president trump's effort to get Ukraine to interfere the twenty twenty elections now will the will the Inspector General of the State Department offer anything different alpher more information remains to be seen or perhaps provide even more documents said Mike pompeo is not willing to provide still uncertain but has but this vaguely worded letter has got a lot of attention among staff members on Capitol Hill and lawmakers staff members will be in this briefing tomorrow. We'll see how how this affects the impeachment investigation going forward. Kate yeah fascinating how this is playing out today. Thank you so much money. We really appreciate it outside with me. Now is democratic Congressman Congressman Jamie Raskin. He's a member of oversight committee as well as the Judiciary Committee Congressman. What do you know about this briefing or meeting tomorrow with the state. Department's I g because we're told it will include staffers from your committee. I don't know anything about it other than it's happening and it appears to to be in response to the letter. Secretary Pump Heo sent to Congress in that letter intimates that he thinks that he has some some kind of protective privilege blanket that he can draw down over all of the documents that we are requesting and he appears to think that he can stop the witnesses this is from coming into testify the humorous thing about it is that he's posing now as the great defender of the professionals in the State Department when apparently he was on the phone call listening in with Donald Trump and the president of Ukraine as trump trashed crashed the US ambassador to Ukraine and called her the woman. said that they were. GonNa get rid of her He didn't do anything to defend her at that point but now that he's basically wants to put the State Department in lockdown in terms of information. He's pretending that somehow he's defending the personnel. WHO WORKED THERE. I'm asking more about on a second but about this meeting tomorrow. I know that it's all the reporting is that it's GonNa attended by committee staffers will will you be at the meeting and why not go to the meeting the I you know I may go to the meeting. I don't know I have not spoken to the chair or the the the chief of staff yet and I'll check in with them and that might be them right now. I'm just going to be okay on the on the about the secretary of State Mike Pompeo and him saying that the house is trying to intimidate and bully State Department employees. I know these is almost comical but is is. Is that what you is that what the committees are trying to do. Are you trying to bully State Department employees to comply Nobo- obviously all of this is about the bullying of Donald Trump who withheld three hundred ninety one million dollars in military aid that Congress had voted to go to our besieged ally Ukraine which is fighting against Russia and Vladimir Putin Donald Trump held up he delayed it and then engaged in the now infamous conversation where he said all though there is something that we want from you and that's something of course was that information that he thought would be damning about Joe Biden and Joe Biden son in congressman than the key question. I think at this this moment is if Pompeo doesn't comply if he stonewalls if he can then the real question is what are you going to do about it. What do you propose well. This is the situation that we've confronted all along now with the trump administration success with little success because because we've never seen in administration this lawless or this reckless before in US history be that what it may the reality that you're working with with. Is You have an attorney general who's been held in contempt of Congress and that has gotten very little on the side of it. Here's what we've got. Here's what we've got okay one we can hold them in contempt and try to go to court to the US attorney reports to the Department of Justice which means reports ultimately to bill bar who's clearly part of the new racket operation so that's not going to work. We have inherent powers of contempt that we haven't used yet they go back to the nineteenth century when the Supreme Court said in Anderson Versus is done in eighteen twenty one that Congress has the exact same powers to enforce its orders that a court does so. He's tempting us. He's essentially inviting us to go back into dust off those old powers includes finding them or arresting people we could find them on a daily basis and we could arrest them like my constituents who were arrested in the last congress. Were nineteen high school kids from. BCC in Montgomery player and school were sitting in Paul Ryan's Office this over the failure of the Republicans to do anything about gun safety. They were arrested they were taken down to DC jail and I went down and build them out at one o'clock morning so I know we know how to well I. We know that we know how to arrest people. We do have police power in the capital but that's not all we can interpret any obstructionism at this point one as obstruction of justice so we can go in civilly and we could try to get prosecuted. We also can interpret it to be an implicit or tacit sit concession or admission of the factual allegations that they're trying to dispute in other words move on with your investigation. We say okay. We're we'RE GONNA. Take that as an admission from you. The fact that you're doing everything in your power to throw up road blocks to Congress getting the evidence. We're not messing around article. One is in our the point. I think this is the I'm just excited."