On Thursday afternoon, Rick Perry was subpoenaed by the House committees responsible for the impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s attempt to pressure the Ukrainian government into investigating Hunter Biden, requiring the Energy secretary to hand over the requested documents by October 18.
“Recently, public reports have raised questions about any role you may have played in conveying or reinforcing the President’s stark message to the Ukrainian President,” the subpoena states. “These reports have also raised significant questions about your efforts to press Ukrainian officials to change the management structure at a Ukrainian state-owned energy company to benefit individuals involved with Rudy Giuliani’s push to get Ukrainian officials to interfere in our 2020 election.”
The House Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs committees intend to examine Perry’s role in Trump’s call to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky; the president has reportedly claimed that he made his July 25 call on Perry’s request. “Not a lot of people know this, but I didn’t even want to make the call,” Trump reportedly told House Republicans last week. “The only reason I made the call was because Rick asked me to. Something about an LNG [liquefied natural gas] plant.” The move has largely been perceived as a scapegoating effort, as text messages between Trump-administration officials to a Zelenksy aide do not mention Perry and make clear that Giuliani was the primary motivator for the call. The Energy Department issued a statement on Sunday claiming that Perry encouraged Trump to make the call, but in the hopes of securing “energy security and economic development.”
The subpoena requires Perry to forfeit all documents related to the Energy Department’s role in the July 25 call, as well as all evidence of “all meetings or discussions” with Giuliani. According to NBC News, Thursday’s document request marked the ninth subpoena since the impeachment inquiry began, showing that House Democrats are running a focused and fast-moving investigation into the administration’s relationship with Ukraine.