Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he will comply with a subpoena issued by House Democrats who are trying to acquire documents and communications regarding USA officials' contact with Ukrainian officials, but denounced a committee chairman for the request sent to the department about making five current and former department officials available for depositions.
The complaint and the Trump administration's actions surrounding it prompted House Democrats to move forward with an impeachment inquiry.
The inspector general said the reason for the briefing was the office had obtained documents from acting legal adviser in the State Department.
The aide said Tuesday that the testimony of former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, which had been scheduled for Wednesday, would now occur next Friday, following an agreement between both the committee's and the former ambassador's counsel.
Pompeo arrived in Rome just hours after US officials confirmed his participation in Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukraine's president that is fueling the impeachment inquiry by House Democrats.
Yovanovitch and Volker were two of the five depositions that the committees have scheduled during the next two weeks while Congress is on recess.
The committees' request "can be understood only as an attempt to intimidate, bully and treat improperly the distinguished professionals of the Department of State", Pompeo said in a letter to Congress.
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Volker, however, is no longer a State Department official after he resigned last week following the release of the whistleblower complaint and transcript of the President's call.
"Pursuant to the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry, we are hereby transmitting a subpoena that compels you to produce the documents set forth in the accompanying schedule by October 4, 2019", the chairmen of the House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight committees wrote in a letter to Pompeo.
The clash has thrown into question whether the officials' depositions will happen this week as planned.
George Kent, as head of European and Eurasian affairs within the State Department, oversees U.S. policy for Ukraine.
He says there has been no official notice of a deposition and the department has not been given enough time to prepare the officials - some of whom have sought personal attorneys, he says, while others need more time to do so. The congressional committees also issued a subpoena Friday to Pompeo for documents related to the Ukrainian investigation.
The letter was sent last week in response to the ongoing controversy about President Donald Trump's July phone call with the president of Urkaine. Pompeo is the first Cabinet official known to have heard Trump press the Ukrainian leader to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's son for corruption.
He was identified in the whistle-blower complaint as one of the officials listening to Trump's call with Zelensky.