CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who is testifying Thursday at his confirmation hearing to be secretary of state, did not disclose in 2017 that a Kansas business he owns imported oilfield equipment from a company owned by the Chinese government, McClatchy News Service reported Wednesday.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which will be questioning Pompeo, is aware of his role with the company and expects him to be able to explain during the hearing "exactly what financial entanglement he had with the Chinese government and why he failed to disclose it," says Juan Panchon, communications director for Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
A Senate Democratic aide told CBS News' Kylie Atwood that it's a complicated issue. Pompeo allegedly omitted this disclosure in paperwork that was submitted when he was named CIA director, which vets a candidate's history for a decade.
Before he was elected to Congress in 2010, Pompeo was president of Sentry International, an oilfield equipment company. Pompeo and Sentry, McClatchy reported, owned a company called SJ Petro in 2007. By 2008, though, Pompeo "was no longer listed as owning more than 5 percent of [SJ Pedro] but was still a signing member," according to McClatchy. Sinopec, a majority state-owned Chinese oil and gas company, owned the majority of SJ Petro by 2008.
By 2010, according to the Wichita Eagle, Pompeo was described in government records as the registered agent for SJ Petro Pump Investment, a company that sold and distributed high-pressure pumps made by SJ Petro. According to the Eagle, Pompeo "characterized the Chinese SJ Petro as a supplier to his company, part of an international supply chain of products that Sentry buys and sells, sometimes under its own name and sometimes under the name of the original manufacturer."
The Democratic aide said there's a question now about whether Pompeo's filing for secretary of state disclosed his full involvement with SJ Petro. The questionnaire Pompeo submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee did not mention SJ Petro or Sinopec.
Question 17 asked, "Have you or your spouse ever represented in any capacity (e.g., employee, attorney or political/business consultant), with or without compensation, a foreign government or an entity controlled by a foreign government? If so, please fully describe such relationship."
Pompeo responded, "No."