Edited by: JV Staff
Right in the middle of the House Democrats impeachment probe and in the maelstrom of the Turkish invasion of Syria, it appears that the White House is now dealing with another resignation.
This time, the cabinet member who is tendering his resignation is Energy Secretary Rick Perry. On Thursday, he notified President Trump that his intention was to leave his job soon, according to two White House administration sources.
According to a Fox News report, Perry was traveling with the president to Texas when he shared the news aboard Air Force One. Speaking to reporters later Thursday, Trump called Perry “outstanding” and announced, “We already have his replacement.” But, Trump said Perry would stay on until the end of the year.
“It’s his time. Two years is a long time,” Trump said. “We have the man … we’re going to be putting in Rick’s place.”
House Democrats subpoenaed Perry earlier in the day as part of their investigation.
In recent weeks, Perry had found himself engulfed in the largest scandal yet to threaten Trump’s presidency, with White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney saying earlier Thursday that Trump had directed Perry to work on Ukraine policy with Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, as was reported by Reuters.
Trump’s Ukraine policy is at the center of an impeachment inquiry being conducted by the House that has stemmed from a July 25 call in which Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate the role that former Vice President Joe Biden played in having a prosecutor removed from a corruption case. The case focused on a Ukrainian energy company, Burisma, in which Biden’s son Hunter was on the board of directors.
Critics, such as former national security advisor John Bolton have accused Giuliani, who was not a U.S. government official, of conducting a shadow Ukraine policy.
Perry had been a rare Trump Cabinet member who was virtually free of ethics investigations that weighed on other Trump officials, but he failed to achieve a goal of subsidizing U.S. coal and nuclear energy plants facing a rash of closures, according to a Reuters report.
Fox News reported that Perry was scheduled to attend an energy conference overseas with U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who testified Thursday in the Democrats’ inquiry. A Capitol Hill source and an official at the Energy Department told Fox News that Perry is still slated to head to Brussels and the Middle East next week as planned.