The House Intelligence Committee on Friday sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence asking for information regarding the phone call President Donald Trump made to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The letter was signed by committee chairman Adam Schiff, House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, and House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings, as reported by The New York Times.
As part of the impeachment investigation that is being helmed by the House Intelligence Committee, the letter asked for Pence to turn over documents relating to his involvement in the call by October 15, CNN writes.
Although Pence has often distanced himself from many of Trump’s scandals, like the investigation into Russian collusion and the Stormy Daniels affair, the vice president is front and center for this one. Trump was supposed to travel to Warsaw, Poland, at the end of August to meet with Zelensky. However, due to the impending approach of Hurricane Dorian, Trump decided to stay in the U.S. to monitor the storm. Instead, Pence went to Warsaw to meet with the Ukrainian president.
There is now speculation that Pence traveled to meet with Zelensky to help put pressure on him to acquiesce to Trump’s terms. In the letter, Pence was asked to turn over a wide-range of documents in an attempt to shed some light on just what his role in the whole controversy is, The New York Times reports.
This request for documentation comes after Pence claimed he was unaware of the contents of the phone call with Zelensky and said that his meeting with the Ukrainian president in Warsaw was about internal Ukrainian corruption and had nothing to do with pressuring him to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s family. However, a former U.S. ambassador to Russia claims that Pence was on the call, stating that his assertions of ignorance to Trump’s meaning were impossible to believe.
Pence isn’t the only person being asked to turn over documents. The Intelligence Committee is also preparing to subpoena the White House and the U.S. State Department for their documents relating to the situation. This call for information comes as the committee is questioning the whistleblower himself, gathering details about how he came across the transcript and the steps he took to verify what happened.
It also comes after Congress heard testimony from Kurt Volker, the former U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine. In the testimony, Volker handed over a batch of text messages that detailed conversations between himself and other high-ranking members of the Trump administration that hinted at the quid pro quo between the two governments that Trump has strenuously denied as occurring.