“The Secretary will not partake in a secret star chamber inquisition where agency counsel is forbidden to be present,” department spokesperson Shaylyn Hynes said in a statement Friday.
But, Hynes added, “If the committee is interested in conducting a serious proceeding they are welcome to send for the Secretary’s consideration an invitation to participate in an open hearing where the Department’s counsel can be present and the American people can witness.”
Perry had been asked to appear before the three committees conducting the impeachment inquiry on Wednesday.
A whistleblower complaint, which prompted the House impeachment inquiry, alleged that Trump abused his official powers “to solicit interference” from Ukraine in the upcoming 2020 election, and that the White House took steps to cover it up. Trump has denied doing anything improper.
Energy issues, though, were not mentioned during the July conversation between the two leaders, according to a rough transcript of the call released by the White House.
One of the ‘three amigos’
In a May meeting, Trump, however, directed Perry and the two other officials to deal with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani about a potential face-to-face meeting with Zelensky.
This story has been updated.
CNN’s Manu Raju, Michael Warren, Kevin Bohn, Devan Cole, Gregory Wallace and Kylie Atwood contributed to this report.