Politics

Departing Energy Secretary Rick Perry says he's not sure he'll comply with subpoena in impeachment inquiry

Key Points
  • Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who will be leaving his post by the year's end, said Friday that he is not sure whether he will comply with a subpoena from House Democrats conducting an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
  • Perry faces a Friday deadline to hand over a slew of Ukraine-related documents to the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees.
  • But Perry, who revealed a day earlier that he would be stepping down as Energy Secretary, told CNBC's Squawk on the Street" that he would follow the advice of legal minds in the administration. 
Rick Perry, U.S. secretary of energy, speaks during the 2019 CERAWeek by IHS Markit conference in Houston, Texas, on Wednesday, March 13, 2019.
F. Carter Smith | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who will be leaving his post by year's end, said Friday that he is not sure whether he will comply with a subpoena from House Democrats conducting an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Perry faces a Friday deadline to hand over a slew of Ukraine-related documents to the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees.

A parade of current and former Trump administration officials have been called on to cooperate with Congress as it investigates issues surrounding Trump's request for Ukraine to launch corruption probes into the 2016 presidential election and former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.

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Energy Secretary Rick Perry: I'm unsure if I will comply with a House subpoena

But Perry, who revealed a day earlier that he would be stepping down as Energy secretary, told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" that he would follow the advice of administration lawyers.

"Until the advice of counsel comes out today, I don't know what that answer's gonna be, actually," Perry said, referring to his decision on compliance with the subpoena.

"So let's just hold off on saying we are or we aren't going to address that issue until we get final advice of counsel."

Trump said at a rally in Texas on Thursday night that Perry would be leaving at the end of the year.

The White House has rejected the impeachment inquiry as a "witch hunt" and is refusing to comply with its proceedings. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has blasted Democrats' requests for officials in his department to cooperate with the probe, saying he will "use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attempts to intimidate the dedicated professionals whom I am proud to lead and serve alongside at the Department of State."

Democrats in response suggested that it was Pompeo who was making an "effort to intimidate witnesses," adding that any attempt to do so "is illegal and will constitute evidence of obstruction of the impeachment inquiry."

Some current and former officials have opted to testify regardless of the messages from the Trump administration.