While the Trump White House has long been the media’s favorite place to look for alleged wrongdoing, one member of the president’s cabinet has largely stayed above the fray — until now.
Politico reports that Energy Secretary Rick Perry will soon resign from his position in the administration. The development comes just as Perry’s name is starting to appear in the now-infamous Ukraine controversy that has already ensnared President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Perry will step down from his role by the end of November, according to three anonymous sources who Politico says were “familiar with his plans.”
Two of Politico’s sources insisted that Perry’s imminent departure has nothing to do with the Ukraine issue. But several of Perry’s top staffers at the Department of Energy (DOE) are also said to have departed in recent weeks.
Energy secretary throws in the towel?
For its part, White House declined to comment on the report, and a spokesperson for the DOE issued a statement that neither confirmed nor denied Perry’s plans.
“While the Beltway media has breathlessly reported on rumors of Secretary Perry’s departure for months, he is still the Secretary of Energy and a proud member of President Trump’s Cabinet,” DOE spokesperson Shaylyn Hynes said. “One day the media will be right. Today is not that day.”
Anonymous sources informed Politico that Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette is the most likely successor to Perry to head the department. Brouillette has been filling in for Perry in Cabinet meetings in recent months, according to the outlet.
Problems for Perry
Though no accusations have been directly aimed at him (yet), Perry has nonetheless been roped into the Ukraine “scandal” due to his frequent travel to Eastern Europe as part of a broader effort to undercut Russia’s energy-dependent economy by promoting and obtaining contracts to sell U.S.-produced natural gas.
Of particular interest to some: Perry was at the head of the U.S. delegation to Ukraine during the May inauguration of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. The Energy secretary filled in as the lead delegate to the event after Vice President Mike Pence canceled his own appearance for unknown reasons.
Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez (NJ) recently sent a letter to Perry demanding any and all documents pertaining to his interactions with Ukraine, especially any that involve Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, or White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, among other top officials.
There is no word on what Perry intends to do once he is no longer working in the administration, but it is highly unlikely that he will mount another bid for the presidency in the future — though anything is possible for the man who was the longest-serving governor of Texas.
Perhaps Perry will seek some other political office in his home state, or he may just kick back and finally enjoy his retirement from politics. It’s certainly well-deserved.