Energy Secretary Rick Perry is planning his departure from the Trump administration, according to a report from Politico, and the announcement is expected to be made before the end of November.
What are the details?
Politico reported that three sources confirmed the claims, two of whom denied Secretary Perry's planned exit has anything to do with him being pulled into the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Both the White House and the Department of Energy declined to comment on the matter.
On Tuesday, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) sent Perry a letter, asking the secretary to disclose the nature of his interactions with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — who President Trump is accused of asking to assist in investigating Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden. Perry has reportedly spoken with Zelensky at least three times.
Perry led the U.S. delegation to the inauguration of Zelensky in May, after Vice President Mike Pence bowed out. Now, Menendez — ranking member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations — wants Perry to cough up details of the trip and to provide "a detailed list" of any records related to his and President Trump's interactions with the Ukrainian government.
Menendez requested a response from Perry by Friday.
Perry's name has also been mentioned in a subpoena issued by House Democrats as part of their impeachment inquiry, when they asked President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to disclose his interactions with Perry related to Ukraine.
During a department event on Wednesday, Perry said, "I'll just briefly say we're going to work with Congress and answer all their questions," CNN reported.
Two of Politico's sources said the secretary has been planning his departure for months, and dismissed the possibility that the impeachment inquiry has anything to do with the timing of Perry's resignation.
Perry is expected to be replaced by Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette.