Breaking News US/Australia ll Dem threat: Stop PAYING Trump staffers who don’t comply with inquiry


Administration officials could face losing their paycheck if they refuse to comply with the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump
House Democrats have twice referencing using a provision in the annual Financial Services spending bill that outlines if a federal employee ‘prohibits or prevents’ another official from communicating with Congress, their pay can be withheld during that time
It also says prohibits federal employees from taking disciplinary or personnel actions against employees for communicating with lawmakers
Although several officials have already testified before the six House committees jointly conducting impeachment proceedings since the inquiry was launched last month, there are still holdouts who have cited executive privilege
Earlier this month, Vice President Mike Pence said he would not comply with the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry
Energy Secretary Mike Perry, last Friday, did not adhere to a congressional subpoena deadline to produce documents relevant to the inquiry
Vice President Mike Pence said last week that he would not comply with the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry Energy Secretary Rick Perry (center), said the same The president’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani also said last week that he wouldn’t cooperation with the investigation
Although Giuliani would not fall under this provision Democrats seek to use since he is not on government payroll, it exhibits the reach the Trump administration has in blocking people related to the inquiry from complying
For the Democrats to follow through with their threat, they would need to request a Government Accountability Office investigation, which would then lead to the office issuing a legal opinion on whether administration officials were blocking federal employees from testifying or communicating with lawmakers
If the GAO finds wrongdoing, it will suggest the relevant agency withhold salary paid during the time the official prevented an employee from testifying, and the agency would seek repayment from the offending federal employee
The provision has a 22-year-old history, but has only been used twice – and was only successful once in finding wrongdoing
 The potential for using it for a third time was first referencing in an October 1 letter from Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff and Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings, who is now deceased
Then on October 8, Representative Mark Pocan, who co-chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus, mentioned enacting Section 713 of the Financial Service spending bill when asking Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a letter which administration official directed U
S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland to refuse to testify before the Intelligence Committee
U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland (pictured) was told not to testify before the Intelligence Committee, but he ultimately appeared in a closed-door meeting with the panel last weekSondland ended up answering questions in a closed-door meeting with Congress on October 17
If Democrats asked the GAO to begin an investigation, it could take months, judging from the past two cases’ timelines, which took six month and three years
But experts expect this process could be sped up since the focus surrounds impeachment
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the lower chamber of Congress was launching an impeachment inquiry after it was revealed Donald Trump urged his Ukrainian counterpart to probe political rival Joe Biden
More specifically, Democrats allege the president set a quid pro quo for millions in military aid in exchange for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelesnky releasing a statement that this government was opening an investigation into Biden and his son Hunter, who had business interests there
Trump and Giuliani have both claimed there was no wrongdoing.

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