Energy Secretary Rick Perry informs Trump he plans to resign

Energy Secretary Rick Perry informed President Trump on Thursday that he plans to resign, two administration officials confirmed to Fox News.

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Perry notified Trump on Air Force One during a flight to Texas. The exact timing of Perry’s departure from his role is not yet known.

The planned resignation comes as Perry draws scrutiny over his apparent role in President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. Top House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry to determine whether Trump misused presidential authority by pushing the president of Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, during a July 25 phone call.

Perry played a key role in shaping the Trump administration’s dealings with Ukraine and worked with Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Guiliani, to encourage a Ukrainian investigation into the Bidens, administration officials told Fox News. Trump told House Republicans that it was Perry who pushed him to hold the phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The president has denied wrongdoing.

An Energy Department spokesperson said Perry “absolutely supported and encouraged” Trump to take the call, but said it was related to energy and economic policy. The House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees subpoenaed Perry to submit documents related to his involvement with the Ukraine call and whether he pressured Ukrainian officials to replace leadership at a state-owned energy company. Perry was told to comply with the request by Oct. 18.

Perry is expected to formally step down as energy secretary by the end of the year, the New York Times reported.

The former Texas governor was one of the longest-tenured members of Trump's cabinet. At Perry's direction, the U.S. increased the production of fossil fuels.

Perry denied rumors earlier this month that he planned to resign.

“I’m here. I’m serving. They’ve been writing the story that I was leaving the Department of Energy for at least nine months now. One of these days they'll probably get it right. But it’s not today. It’s not tomorrow. It’s not next month,” Perry said at the time, according to Politico.

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