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Accused of Intimidation, Pompeo Makes an Admission

Yes, 'I was on the call'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2019 8:25 AM CDT
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets the media in Rome on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

(Newser) – A little more than a week after saying he had just been handed "a report about a IC whistle-blower complaint, none of which I've seen," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed Wednesday that he was on the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that prompted the complaint and is now the subject of an impeachment inquiry. "I was on the call," Pompeo said from Rome, adding the US policy had been about helping rid Ukraine of corruption, per the New York Times. "We will continue to try to drive those set of outcomes," he said when asked if he had any concerns about the call, per CNN.

Pompeo then elaborated on a Tuesday letter in which he accused Democrats of attempting to intimidate officials asked to appear for depositions. "They contacted State Department employees directly, told them not to contact legal counsel at the State Department," he said, claiming the demands "deeply violate fundamental principles of separation of powers." Late Tuesday, however, the chairmen of three House committees leading the impeachment inquiry said Pompeo "appears to have an obvious conflict of interest" and "should immediately cease intimidating Department witnesses in order to protect himself and the president," per Bloomberg and the Hill. (Read more Mike Pompeo stories.)

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