Less than two weeks. That’s how long House Democrats have given Vice President Mike Pence to produce a litany of documents relating to his potential involvement in Donald Trump’s unethical and illegal request to foreign countries for aid in investigating his political rivals Joe Biden, and as we learned on Thursday, Elizabeth Warren as well.
The veep’s spokesman dismissed the request as unserious due to the breadth of information being requested, but the 3-page letter from Democrats to Trump’s number two seems quite serious in its intent:
Yesterday, you appeared to condone President Trump’s efforts to press foreign powers to target the president’s political opponents with baseless conspiracy theories. It remains unclear to what extent you had knowledge of specific aspects of some of these events.”
Thus far in the course of their investigations, House Committees have sent subpoenas to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. The White House has indicated that it does not intend to release any information to Democrats until after they hold an actual vote to impeach the President, which is both not their right and not how it works.
Frustrating Trump’s attempts to stonewall the Committees, Democrats today sent an actual subpoena to the White House. Pence has thus far only been asked for the documents that Democrats want, but a subpoena for him personally would now clearly be forthcoming should he also refuse as Trump has.
As all of this was happening Friday, Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson was testifying before the House Intelligence Committee. Democrats coming out of that classified hearing seemed happy with Atkinson’s compliance and cooperation, and Rep. Mike Quigley remarked as he was leaving:
He just cemented the integrity of how thorough he was to corroborate. Let’s put this in perspective, folks. What the inspector general said last time was, the whistleblower pulled the fire alarm. We have now seen the smoke and the fire.”
Whatever extent to which it can be proven that Pence was materially involved in the crimes committed by Trump, Democrats expressed their legitimate concern that Pence appears to fully support Trump’s attempts to get foreign governments’ help with his Biden problem, based entirely on statements made in public by Pence himself.
Either way, Democrats will find out on October 15th or before whether Pence intends to play ball. Failure to could result not just in contempt and subpoenas, but in endangering his position as the “next man up” when Trump is potentially removed from office after he is impeached.
Featured image via screen capture
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