In a letter and in tweets on Tuesday, Pompeo accused those Democrats of attempting to “intimidate” and “bully” the State Department’s foreign service officers (FSOs) and said depositions being sought by Congress are “not feasible.”
The “requested dates for depositions are not feasible,” Pompeo wrote, claiming the lawmakers have not given the employees enough time to prepare and voicing concern that they’re trying to prevent State Department counsel from participating in the depositions. Pompeo said Executive Branch counsel would have to be present.
“Let me be clear: I will not tolerate such tactics, and I will use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attempts to intimidate the dedicated professionals whom I am proud to lead and serve alongside at the Department of State,” Pompeo tweeted in response to the Democrats’ demand for depositions.
Those officials are former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch; outgoing U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker; Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent; Counselor T. Ulrich Brechbuhl and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland. All of the officials except Kent are named in a complaint by an intelligence community whistleblower who accused Trump of “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”