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Psych! The Pentagon is actually 'unable to comply' with House Democrats' impeachment inquiry 'at this time'
On Sunday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper stated that the Pentagon would comply with House Democrats' subpoena in their nascent impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.
The next day, the Pentagon added an important addendum to Esper's promise: Psych!
In a letter to three House Democrats on Monday, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs Robert R. Hood wrote that while the Pentagon "understands the significance of your request for information," the department "is unable to comply with your request for documents at this time."
The Pentagon "is prepared to engage in [the] process consistent with longstanding practice and provide the responsive information," Hood wrote in his letter to Reps. Adam Schiff, Eliot Engel, and Elijah Cummings. "The current subpoena, however, raises a number of legal and practical concerns that must first be addressed."
Hood's sharp rebuke of House Democrats is stark contrast to Esper's comments on CBS' 'Face The Nation' on Sunday, where he promised that the Pentagon "will do everything we can to cooperate with the Congress."
The primary concern at the center of the subpoena, in the Pentagon's eyes, mainly center on the fact that that Congress hasn't explicitly authorized the House committee the three lawmakers chair (the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight and Reform, respectively) to conduct any sort of impeachment inquiry.
"Even if the inquiry were validly authorized, much of the information sought in the subpoena appears to consist of confidential Executive Branch communications that are potentially protected by executive privilege and would require careful review to ensure no such information is improperly disclosed," Hood wrote. Translation: even if you're allowed to ask, it'll take time to get the docs together.
To be fair, the declassification process issue isn't a total surprise: Esper did state on 'Fox News Sunday' that the Pentagon would likely have issues hitting the mid-October deadline detailed in the subpoena. "I don't know the status of what that document preparation is, what restrictions we may have internally with regard to releasing them, the White House has a say on the release of documents as well."
But still, it's hard not to see the tension between the Pentagon letter and Esper's amiable appearances on the Sunday political shows, which are traditionally reserved for high-level administration officials to play cheerleader. At least we were able to get our hands on some exclusive detailed footage of Esper in action:
Read the full letter below:
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As many as 380 Americans on the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan – which has nearly 300 passengers who have tested positive for the deadly coronavirus, now known as COVID-19 – will be extracted Sunday from Yokohama and flown to Travis Air Force Base near Fairfield and a Texas base for further quarantine.
The Army wants more soldiers, and it's using esports to put a 'finger on the pulse' of potential recruits
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
After whiffing on its recruiting goal in 2018, the Army has been trying new approaches to bring in the soldiers it needs to reach its goal of 500,000 in active-duty service by the end of the 2020s.
The 6,500-soldier shortfall the service reported in September 2018 was its first recruiting miss since 2005 and came despite it putting $200 million into bonuses and issuing extra waivers for health issues or bad conduct.
Within a few months of that disappointment, the Army announced it was seeking soldiers for an esports team that would, it said, "build awareness of skills that can be used as professional soldiers and use [its] gaming knowledge to be more relatable to youth."
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico Army National Guard soldier from Mountainair, who served as a police officer and volunteer firefighter in the town, died Thursday from a non-combat related incident while deployed in Africa, according to the Department of Defense.
A news release states Pfc. Walter Lewark, 26, died at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti where he was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in the Horn of Africa.
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is requesting about as much money for overseas operations in the coming fiscal year as in this one, but there is at least one noteworthy new twist: the first-ever Space Force request for war funds.
Officials say the $77 million request is needed by Oct. 1 not for space warfare but to enable military personnel to keep operating and protecting key satellites.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors on Thursday accused Huawei of stealing trade secrets and helping Iran track protesters in its latest indictment against the Chinese company, escalating the U.S. battle with the world's largest telecommunications equipment maker.
In the indictment, which supersedes one unsealed last year in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, Huawei Technologies Co was charged with conspiring to steal trade secrets from six U.S. technology companies and to violate a racketeering law typically used to combat organized crime.