Energy Secretary Rick Perry announces plans to resign amid Ukraine probe

Daniel Uria & Darryl Coote

Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said Thursday that he plans to resign later this year.

In a video posted to YouTube, Perry said "it is with profound emotion and gratitude that I'm announcing my resignation, effective later this year," though he did not specify a date when he'd be leaving.


"There's much work to be done in these upcoming weeks and I remain fully committed to accomplishing the goals that I set out to accomplish at the beginning of my tenure, and then I'll return to my favorite place in the world -- Texas," he said.

President Donald Trump told reporters prior to holding a campaign rally in Dallas, Texas, that Perry, whom he appointed to the position in March 2017, had done a "fantastic job" but that it was time for him to step down.

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Trump said Perry plans to leave "toward the end of the year" and that he had already selected a replacement.

"We have the man that ... in this case it's a man that we're going to be putting in Rick's place. We'll be announcing it very shortly," Trump said.


The president said he was not surprised by Perry's decision stating he had been informed of the secretary's plans to depart the White House six months ago.

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"Rick and I have been talking for six months," he said. "In fact, I thought he might go a bit sooner. But he's got some very big plans. He's going to be very successful."

The announcement of his resignation came a week after House Democrats issued Perry a subpoena for documents as part of its ongoing impeachment probe into Trump.

The House Democrats said in a letter to Perry that they are seeking documents concerning what role he may have played in "conveying or reinforcing the President's stark message to the Ukrainian President" concerning the withholding of promised military assistance exchange unless they investigate Trump's political opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

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House Democrats are also seeking to answer whether Perry pressured Ukrainian officials "to change the management structure at a Ukrainian state-owned energy company" for the benefit of people Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, allegedly asked to participate in the scheme to interfere with the 2020 presidential election.


On Thursday, White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters Trump did ask Perry to work with Giuliani concerning Ukraine policy but it wasn't "a shadow policy" effort.

"The president is entitled to have whoever he wants to work," Mulvaney said.

Perry, who served as governor of Texas from 2000 to 2015, was confirmed by the Senate as Trump's secretary of energy in March 2017.

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