On Wednesday morning, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that he had listened in on President Donald Trump‘s July 25 conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr ZelenskyPompeo owned up to being on the call while he was attending a news conference with the Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio.  In the much-discussed call between Trump and Zelensky, the U.S. president seemed to cajole Zelensky into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden. 

Pompeo was subpoenaed to testify in the House in the context of impeachment investigation opened against Trump in the House.

Biden has consistently polled as the strongest rival for Trump in next year’s election. Trump has been fixated on the former vice president in his tweets and comments for months.

Pompeo has said that U.S. policy has remained unchanged towards Ukraine and that the U.S. would be undeterred in its resolve to fight corruption in the country. Last month, Pompeo claimed to not have read the whistleblower’s complaint during an interview with ABC’s This Week. 

Pompeo’s candid statement to the press came in the wake of an impending joint meeting of House and Senate Committees in Congress, which was at the request of the Inspector General of the State Department. They will discuss the documents that had been exchanged been Ukraine and the State Department. House Democrats have sought to depose senior diplomats like Special Envoy Kurt Volker and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch this week.

Pompeo has refused to comply with the request that five present and past members of the State Department be deposed by the House about the correspondence that took place between Ukraine and the State Department in recent months. Pompeo argues that this tantamount to bullying.