The inspector general for the State Department requested on Tuesday afternoon a bipartisan meeting with staff members of various congressional committees.
Inspector General Steve Linick is reportedly making a request to meet with the staff members on Wednesday afternoon, ABC News reported on the matter. Details on the meeting were scarce, but sources who received correspondence from the IG said it had to do with the State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser and the country of Ukraine.
That nation’s involvement will likely lead many to speculate the matter has to do with something related to the impeachment inquiry within the House of Representatives, although that cannot be confirmed at this time.
The meeting is unusually timed as it coincides at a moment when most of Congress is out of town for recess. Both houses aren’t set to reconvene until October 15.
According to Newsweek columnist Seth Abramson, the meeting will require congressional staff from six House committees to return to Washington.
BREAKING: DoS Inspector General Issues "Cryptic," "Urgent" Message to Have Congressional Staff of Six Committees Return to DC (House Foreign Affairs, Senate Foreign Relations, House/Senate Appropriations, House Oversight, Senate Homeland Security, Senate Intelligence) for Meeting pic.twitter.com/klzom85EZz
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) October 1, 2019
A congressional aid said the email sent from the IG was “cryptically worded” and of an “urgent” matter, CNN reported. It came almost one hour after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rejected a timeline that was set by House Democrats for members of the State Department to provide depositions and documents for committees to examine.
Pompeo rejected the plan on Tuesday, calling it an attempt to “intimidate, bully, & treat improperly” members of his department, he said in a statement. He added that there wasn’t enough time allotted for individuals to gather the “vast amount of documents” requested for the hearings.
“Let me be clear: I will not tolerate such tactics, and I 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,” Pompeo said, per reporting from Bloomberg.