Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledged on Wednesday that he was on the July phone call between President Donald Trump and the Ukraine president that's at the center of the House impeachment inquiry.
But Pompeo continued to push back against what he said was Democrats' "bullying and intimidation."
The Trump administration has set a defiant tone, resisting Congress' access to impeachment witnesses, even as House Democrats warned such efforts themselves could amount to an impeachable offense.
Pompeo has tried to delay five current and former officials from providing documents and testimony in the inquiry that could lead to charges against Trump. But Democrats were able to set closed-door depositions for Thursday for former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and next week for ousted U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.
Pompeo acknowledged at a news conference in Rome on Wednesday that "I was on the phone call" on July 25 between Trump and the Ukraine president, saying that as America's chief diplomat he was well-versed in U.S. policy toward Ukraine.
But he continued to sound a defiant note on the House impeachment probe, asserting that House investigators contacted "State Department employees directly" and told them not to contact State Department lawyers for advice. He said the State Department would "do our Constitutional duty to cooperate" with Congress but wouldn't tolerate "bullying and intimidation."