Pompeo: Schiff’s ‘Kangaroo Court’ Is ‘Deeply Unfair;’ ‘We’re Not Able to Protect the United States’

By Craig Bannister | October 21, 2019 | 11:35am EDT
Sec. of State Mike Pompeo (Getty Images/Bryan R. Smith/Contributor)

Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D-Calif.) “kangaroo court” is denying State Department officers legal representation and denying the State Department access to the transcripts of the secretive, closed-door interrogations of them – making it impossible for the department to protect either itself or the U.S., Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday.

Appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” Pompeo responded to host George Stephanopoulos’ claim that House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff’s interrogations show that President Donald Trump pressured the president of Ukraine to conduct political investigations.

Sec. Pompeo called Schiff’s treatment of State Dept. officials in the hearings “deeply unfair” – and noted that Stephanopoulos had not seen the evidence and did not know what officers had testified:

“George, I haven't had a chance to see the evidence that you assert is being accumulated. I wish that I could. I frankly wish that State Department lawyers were being permitted in the room to hear testimony from State Department officials.

“This is deeply unfair to the officers that serve under me. It's wrong. I can't comment on what they're saying because I have not been permitted to either have a lawyer present or to see the recorded transcripts or the translations of what was said. So, I can't comment on what people may or may not be saying in that room. Frankly, you can't either. You weren't there either, George.”

Pompeo said Schiff's "kangaroo court" is preventing the State Dept. from defending either itself – or the country – because officers are being forced to testify without a State Department lawyer present and without the department being allowed to review their testimony:

“My view is that each of us has a solemn responsibility to defend the Constitution and to speak the truth. I said this the other day: I hope those officers who go to Capitol Hill will speak truthfully, that they’ll speak completely. I only wish that this was a process that merited such a response.

“This has been unfair in the Nth degree. We have officers going up there to testify about important security-related matters without a State Department lawyer in the room and we're not being allowed to know what it says.

“We're not able to protect the State Department. We're not able to protect the United States of America. And Adam Schiff ought to be embarrassed by the kangaroo court that he's running.”


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