Pompeo’s Role in Trump’s Abuse of Power

Despite Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s best efforts to stonewall and bully his way out of legitimate questions, he has emerged as a pivotal figure in President Trump’s betrayal.

It’s becoming increasingly untenable for Pompeo, who oversees all U.S. diplomatic efforts, to claim that he was unaware of Trump’s efforts to leverage America’s foreign policy for his personal benefit. While new reports reveal the scale and scope of the campaign of intimidation against Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, Pompeo has continued to fail to stand up for his diplomats, while also attempting to distance himself from Trump’s shadow foreign policy altogether.

To avoid answering for Trump’s wrongdoing – and potentially even his own – Pompeo has misrepresented his role in the scandal. Despite listening in on the July 25 call with Zelensky, Pompeo initially feigned ignorance of the conversation, claiming he hadn’t yet read the whistleblower complaint. It was only days later that he admitted that he was a witness to Trump’s betrayal during the conversation at the heart of this scandal.

  • Pompeo also refused to answer several direct questions regarding whether he met with Rudy Giuliani while both were in Warsaw in February; he refused to about his meetings or “personnel matters,” including the resignation and testimony of his aide and de-facto chief of staff, Michael McKinley.
  • Pressed on these questions, Pompeo suggested the reporter was working for the Democratic National Committee.

Pompeo, at best, turned a blind eye to Trump’s subordination of the U.S. national interest to his own political interests. At the same time, he has been willing to carry Trump’s water by helping to stymie investigations and further muddy the waters. 

  • Ambassador Bill Taylor, the most senior American diplomat in Ukraine, raised concerns with Pompeo several times, from the May 28 meeting when Pompeo recruited Taylor to lead the embassy in Kyiv, to Taylor’s August 29 memo to Pompeo relaying his concerns with the security assistance delay.
  • Pompeo has refused to make State Department officials available for congressional depositions, forcing his employees to defy the Department by complying with lawful Congressional subpoenas.
  • Pompeo has called Trump’s conversations with Ukraine “100 percent appropriate,” adding that Vice President Biden “behaved in a way that was inconsistent with the way leaders ought to operate.”

All the while, Pompeo has failed to do the bare minimum when it comes to sticking up for America’s diplomats, who have come under baseless and politically-motivated attacks for their unwillingness to go along with Trump’s betrayal. 

  • Pompeo declined to defend career Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch who was recalled from Kiev at the White House’s direction.
  • While Pompeo has denied knowledge of alleged surveillance of Ambassador Yovanovitch, his false record of foreswearing knowledge of the Giuliani-led smear campaign against her raises questions about his sincerity in doing so.Pompeo’s former senior advisor, Ambassador Michael McKinley, testified that he resigned because State Department employees had been “denied the professional support and respect they deserve from us all.”
  • This betrayal flies in the face of Pompeo’s views during the Benghazi investigation, when he insisted: “America owes its people — especially those that work to advance our interests and the interests of freedom around the world — its utmost protection.”
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