- The Washington Times - Friday, September 18, 2020

The chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee on Friday announced it had issued a subpoena for the chief executive officer of the U.S. Agency for Global Media Michael Pack after he told the panel he intended to not appear at an upcoming hearing.

In a statement, Chairman Eliot Engel, New York Democrat, said that Mr. Pack’s office “informed the committee” on Thursday evening that he “intended to back out on his commitment to appear at a hearing on Sept. 24.”

“His office failed to provide any reasonable alternative dates and his excuse for breaking his commitment is not acceptable,” Mr. Engel said. “Today the Committee has issued a subpoena to compel Mr. Pack’s testimony on the originally agreed-upon date.”

Mr. Pack’s nomination to the post was challenged by Senate Democrats including Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, who said advancing the nomination is a “gross misuse of power” on behalf of Republicans. Mr. Pack is known for having an array of conservative connections including to former White House strategist Steve Bannon.

The agency was formerly known as the Broadcasting Board of Governors and is responsible for state-run media around the world including Voice of America and Radio Free Europe. An official appointed by President Obama has led the agency throughout President Trump’s tenure and Mr. Pack’s nomination was pending for nearly two years before a vote took place in May.

During Mr. Pack’s nomination hearing, Sen. Robert Menendez, the Senate committee’s top-ranking Democrat, said he had concerns about the relationship between Mr. Pack’s for-profit company and a nonprofit, and pointed to an ongoing investigation from the District of Columbia attorney general to demonstrate the seriousness of his concerns.

The committee later advanced Mr. Pack’s nomination along a party-line vote of 12-10.

Mr. Pack is president of Manifold Productions and previously served as president and CEO of the Claremont Institute. A documentarian, he directed “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words,” about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ life that debuted on PBS earlier this year.

• Lauren Toms can be reached at lmeier@washingtontimes.com.

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