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Friday, September 18, 2020

Dems subpoena Mike Pompeo aides over ousting of State Dept. watchdog

WASHINGTON — Top House Democrats on Monday subpoenaed four aides to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — including the advisor who was allegedly made to walk his dog — as part of a probe into the firing of the department’s inspector general.

Outgoing House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel and House Oversight Committee chair Carolyn Maloney, both New York Democrats, fired off the subpoenas as they accused Pompeo of “stonewalling” an investigation into President Trump’s firing of watchdog Steve Linick.

Linick was abruptly dismissed by Trump in May, leading to speculation he was dumped because he was involved in an ongoing investigation into whether Pompeo and his wife were misusing department resources, including tasking an employee with performing personal services like dog walking.

That aide, senior adviser Toni Porter, was among four staff subpoenaed on Monday, including Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Mike Miller, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Marik String, and Brian Bulatao, the undersecretary of State for management, according to a Politico report.

“The Administration continues to cover up the real reasons for Mr. Linick’s firing by stonewalling the Committees’ investigation and refusing to engage in good faith,” Engel and Maloney said in a joint statement along with Sen. Bob Menendez (D. NJ), the chief Democrat on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.

“That stonewalling has made today’s subpoenas necessary,” they added.

Democrats believe the aides have knowledge of the circumstances of Linick’s ousting.

Testifying in front of lawmakers in June, Linick accused Bulatao, a longtime Pompeo associate, of trying to “bully” him as he investigated allegations of misconduct at the department.

Bulatao had also been slated to testify on July 2 but the State Department sought a last minute delay.

Pompeo has denied allegations of wrongdoing and told reporters the watchdog was a “bad actor.”

A trove of documents obtained by The Post in June revealed Linick, an Obama appointee, was the subject of a major investigation when he was ousted and was being probed for possible leaks of classified information to the press.

Read More at NYPost

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