- The Washington Times - Friday, January 17, 2020

The House Foreign Affairs Committee is making a renewed push for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to publicly testify before the panel just days after the secretary failed to appear at a scheduled hearing on tensions with Iran.

Committee Chairman Rep. Eliot Engel, New York Democrat, on Friday set a new date in a letter to Mr. Pompeo to take questions from members of the panel on the Trump administration’s policy toward Iran, Iraq, and the use of force in the region. The hearing is set for Jan. 29.

Mr. Engel said he would consider a subpoena for Mr. Pompeo’s testimony if he does not respond to the committee’s latest request.

“I consider your testimony to be of extremely high importance and am prepared to use all legal means to ensure your attendance,” the chairman said.

Although the secretary has not provided details behind his reason for declining to testify publicly on the events surrounding the killing of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, administration officials say that much of the information remains classified and should not be discussed in a public forum.

Administration officials have insisted the move was made due to an “imminent threat” posed by the Quds Force leader, but Democrats have cited reports the drone strike Jan. 3 was part of a larger operation after reports that the U.S. launched a failed attack on one of Soleimani’s deputies the same day.

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