Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is now fully engulfed in the Ukraine scandal, a scandal which may very well see his boss get impeached.
Monday night, the Wall Street Journal reported that Pompeo was one of the officials on the July 25 phone call between Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. During that call, Trump pressured Zelensky to work with his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to dig up dirt on the former Vice President Joe Biden, Trump’s 2020 election rival, and Biden’s son.
Last week, Pompeo sought to deflect questions about the issue, saying he hadn’t read the whistleblower’s complaint in its entirety. That deflection might be more credible if Pompeo hadn’t been in the same room.
It’s also worth noting that Pompeo initially opposed releasing the record of the call. That opposition takes on new import after learning Pompeo was opposing efforts that might expose his role.
All of this makes Pompeo’s appearance on ABC’s “This Week” a mere eight days ago even more questionable.
Pompeo was asked at the time what he knew of Trump’s phone call with Zelensky, in which Trump solicited election interference. Pompeo declined to answer, instead complaining, “You just gave me a report about an IC whistleblower complaint, none of which I’ve seen.”
He then tried to pivot to generally talking about the Trump administration’s policies in Ukraine.
It was quite the performance for someone that not only knew about the call all along but was reportedly on the call itself.
According to the whistleblower complaint, which was made public earlier this month, there were “approximately a dozen” White House officials on the call, as well as T. Ulrich Brechbuhl from the State Department. The State Department has disputed that Brechbuhl was on the call, but had no comment about Pompeo.
Meanwhile, Pompeo, who apparently has no eye for the optics of a situation, is jetting off to Europe with disgraced former White House official — and white supremacist sympathizer — Sebastian Gorka. Gorka is accompanying Pompeo to Italy while the bulk of the American press corps is not.
Before Monday’s revelation, Pompeo had already been subpoenaed by the House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, and Oversight committees for his failure to provide documents related to Ukraine. Thanks to this new information, there’s no way that the Democrats are going to back away from that subpoena.