The Senate on Monday confirmed Dan Brouillette as the next U.S. energy secretary. Brouillette succeeds Rick Perry, who leaves the job as questions swirl in the impeachment inquiry about whether his dealings with Ukraine.
Brouillette, 57, has served as the Energy Department's deputy secretary since 2017, and he previously worked for the department under the administration of former President George W. Bush. In between those administrations, he was an executive at the United Services Automobile Association (USAA) and the Ford Motor Company. He is also a longtime Republican donor.
The Senate confirmed Brouillette 70-15. Several Democrats voted against him after alleging that he failed to give sufficient answers about Perry's dealings with Ukraine. Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, accused Brouillette of waging a "full-court stonewall," while Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia," called Brouillette a "good man."
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"He has been forthcoming," Manchin said. "He has not held anything back."
Dan Brouillette seen Monday, September 9, 2019. Jon Gambrell / AP
Perry — whose last day on the job was Sunday — is facing scrutiny about whether he was involved in the withholding of military aid for Ukraine. President Trump's tying that aid to a request for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens is now the center of the House's impeachment inquiry against him.
Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, testified in an impeachment hearing that he worked with Perry on Ukraine matters "at the express direction" of Mr. Trump. Sondland, Perry and former special envoy Kurt Volker were the so-called "three amigos" Mr. Trump tapped to handle Ukraine matters.
Trump says Energy Secretary Rick Perry asked him to call Ukrainian president
During his confirmation hearings, Brouillette said he was not a part of any conversation tied to the matters behind the impeachment inquiry. "I'm not aware of the conversations that Secretary Perry had or did not have" with Ukraine, he said.