Three top congressional Democrats on Friday demanded that Vice President Mike Pence turn over documents related to President Donald Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the heart of their rapidly unfolding impeachment probe.
The request for documents was made in a letter sent to the vice president and gave him until Oct. 15 to hand over the documents.
The letter was signed by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).
The committees requested all documents related to Trump’s April 21 and July 25 phone calls with Zelensky, communications between administration officials about the calls, and efforts by Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani or members of the administration to press Ukrainian government officials to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
“Recently, public reports have raised questions about any role you may have played in conveying or reinforcing the President’s stark message to the Ukrainian President,” the chairmen of the three committees wrote in a letter to Pence.
“Your failure or refusal to comply with the request, including at the direction of or behest of the president or the White House, shall constitute evidence of obstruction of justice of the House’s impeachment inquiry and may be used as an adverse inference against you and the president,” they warned.
— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) October 4, 2019
The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that Trump repeatedly involved Pence in efforts to pressure Zelensky at a time when Trump was using “other channels to solicit information that he hoped would be damaging” to Joe Biden.
Trump last week directed reporters to ask Pence to release the details of his conversations with Zelensky.
“I think you should ask for Vice President Pence’s conversation because he had a couple of conversations also,” Trump said at a news conference on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
“I could save you a lot of time,” Trump added. “They were all perfect. Nothing was mentioned of any import other than congratulations.”