US elections: Democrats accuse Pompeo of using State Department to ‘smear’ Biden

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A senior US lawmaker said Friday that he issued a subpoena to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over accusations that the State Department utilized resources as part of a “smear” campaign against Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

“Secretary Pompeo has turned the State Department into an arm of the Trump campaign and he’s not even trying to disguise it,” Congressman Elliot Engel said in a statement.

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Elliot, the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, alleged that Pompeo “is more than happy to Senate Republicans advance their conspiracy theories about the Bidens.”

This comes after reports that Pompeo sent Senate Republicans documents regarding the Biden family’s ties with Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings. Friday’s statement said that Engel’s committee learned of the State Department producing more than 16,000 pages of “allegedly responsive material” to Senate Republicans since February.

Biden’s son, Hunter, was a board member of Burisma Holdings between 2014-2019.

Read more: House subpoenas Pompeo for Ukraine files in Trump impeachment probe

US President Donald Trump was impeached on charges of abuse of power and obstruction in the Democratic-led House of Representatives after he asked Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. He was acquitted by the Republican-controlled Senate.

On Friday, Engel also said that Pompeo had refused to provide the same information to his committee, “which has jurisdiction over the State Department.”

The State Department hit back at Engel and his staff. “While the [State] Department has worked in good faith with Chairman Engel on other matters, it has become clear that in his final months as a Member of Congress, the Chairman has ceded the Committee and its oversight duties to his misguided staff,” a State Department spokesperson told Al Arabiya English.

The spokesperson also said that the State Department had coordinated interviews, “to accommodate Engel’s own legitimate investigate requests,” with over a dozen witnesses and provided him with more than 18,000 pages of Department documents.

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