US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry delivers a statement after signing an agreement with Estonian, Lithuanian and Latvian counterparts on strengthening energy cooperation between the US and the Baltic States during a meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania, on October 6, 2019. - The United States and Baltic states on October 6, 2019 agreed to beef up cooperation to protect the Baltic energy grid from cyber attacks as they disconnect from the Russian electricity grid. (PETRAS MALUKAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Energy Secretary Rick Perry to step down amid scrutiny over his role in the Ukraine scandal

“We already have his replacement,” Trump told reporters in Texas. “Rick has done a fantastic job, but it was time"


Nicole Karlis
October 18, 2019 1:55PM (UTC)

President Donald Trump confirmed on Thursday that Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who has come under scrutiny for his role in the Ukraine scandal, would resign from the Cabinet.

“We already have his replacement,” Trump told reporters in Texas. “Rick has done a fantastic job, but it was time."

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It is unknown exactly when Perry will leave his position, but Trump confirmed that it would be by the end of the year, according to the New York Times. Earlier this month, it was reported that Perry was making plans to step down.

Perry was confirmed as energy secretary on March 2, 2017, by a vote of 62-37 vote in the Senate. He won support from every Republican and 10 Democrats, including Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.

Perry has drawn scrutiny because he led the U.S. delegation to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's inauguration back in May. He previously confirmed reports that the  urged Trump to place the July 25 phone call to Zelensky at the heart of the House impeachment inquiry— but not to discuss digging up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. However, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Thursday undercut the administration's claim that “no quid pro quo” had occurred. (He later attempted to walk those remarks back.)

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The former governor of Texas attempted to explain his connection to Rudy Giuliani and Ukraine to the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. Perry said in the exclusive interview that he sought out Giuliani at the directive of Trump to address the president's concerns about alleged Ukrainian corruption. Perry also said he had never heard Trump, any of his appointees or the Ukrainian regime discuss an investigation into Biden.

Perry faces a Friday deadline to comply with a House subpoena regarding information about Ukraine. According to sources who have spoken to Politico, he might comply in an effort to protect his reputation.

“For the most part, he has a lot to lose by getting embroiled in this and he’s not going to want to hide things,” a source who spoke on condition of anonymity told Politico. “He’s going to want to extract himself as cleanly as he can from this snare.”

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Nicole Karlis

Nicole Karlis is a news writer at Salon. She covers health, science, tech and gender politics. Tweet her @nicolekarlis.

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