When Donald Trump dispatched Vice President Mike Pence to meet with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky on September 1, Pence claims he was completely in the dark about Trump’s attempt to strong-arm Zelensky into helping with his 2020 re-election bid by staging an “investigation” of Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden. But as The Inquisitr has reported, a top adviser to Pence was listening in on the call, and a transcript of Trump’s conversation with Zelensky would have been handed to Pence “within hours.”
Trump’s attempts to lean on Zelensky by holding back badly needed military aid for Ukraine’s defense against an ongoing Russian invasion are now the subject of an impeachment inquiry by Democrats who control the House of Representatives. When Pence met with Zelensky in Warsaw, Poland, he told the Ukrainian leader that Trump would not hand over the military aid package until Ukraine stepped up efforts to “combat corruption,” according to a Washington Post report.
But the only alleged “corruption” mentioned by Trump in his conversation with Zelensky was Trump’s accusation against Biden — meaning that Zelensky would likely have understood Pence’s warning about “combatting corruption” as a demand to investigate Biden. If Pence was aware of Trump’s demand for the Biden probe, he may have committed the same offense for which Trump may now be impeached.
In an interview with MSNBC on Thursday, former U.S. ambassador to Russia Mike McFaul told interviewer Nicole Wallace that he finds Pence’s claim to be unaware of Trump’s demand on Zelensky “impossible to believe.”
The transcript of the call between Trump and Zelensky was “six, seven pages long,” and the flight to Warsaw is at least eight hours long, McFaul pointed out.
“I find it absolutely impossible to believe that [Pence] wouldn’t want to know every single word that the president of the United States said to President Zelensky before meeting with him,” McFaul said in the interview, as quoted by Raw Story. “Maybe it’s true. I don’t find it credible.”
Pence on Thursday placed himself squarely in the middle of the effort by Trump to pressure foreign governments to dig up dirt on Biden, after Trump publicly called on not only Ukraine, but also on China to do exactly that. Trump made the call for Biden to be investigated by both governments in remarks to reporters as he departed the White House for Florida on Thursday morning, as The Inquisitr reported.
Later in the day, Pence offered what Reuters called a “full-throated defense” of Trump’s calls for foreign governments to meddle in the U.S. election.
“The American people have the right to know whether or not the vice president of the United States or his family profited from his position,” Pence said, as quoted by Reuters, repeating charges against Biden that have been widely debunked as false.