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House Democrats announce contempt proceedings against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

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Mike Pompeo, U.S. secretary of state, speaks during the Republican National Convention from Israel, August 25, 2020

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Democrat-led House Foreign Affairs Committee announced Friday that it will launch proceedings to hold Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in contempt.

The contempt resolution against Pompeo, President Donald Trump’s second secretary of State, is being drafted in response to the Cabinet official’s “ongoing refusal to comply” with a congressional subpoena and “his transparently political misuse of Department resources,” the committee said.

Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., said in a release that Pompeo “has demonstrated alarming disregard for the laws and rules governing his own conduct and for the tools the constitution provides to prevent government corruption.”

“He seems to think the office he holds, the Department he runs, the personnel he oversees, and the taxpayer dollars that pay for all of it are there for his personal and political benefit,” Engel said.

Engel cited Pompeo’s alleged refusal to fully cooperate with the impeachment inquiry into Trump, as well as the top diplomat’s speech to the Republican National Convention this week, which was recorded in Jerusalem. That speech is under investigation by the Foreign Affairs subpanel on oversight, led by Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas.

The chairman also slammed Pompeo’s refusal to turn over documents to Democrats that the State Department had already given to a Republican-led Senate committee investigating allegations related to Democratic nominee Joe Biden. 

“I want no part of it. Under no circumstances will I amplify [Russia President Vladimir] Putin’s debunked conspiracy theories or lend them credence. And I won’t stand by and see the Committee or the House treated with such disdain by anyone,” Engel said.

The State Department did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on the announcement.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

— CNBC’s Amanda Macias contributed to this report.

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