WASHINGTON – House Democrats on Friday asked Vice President Mike Pence to turn over a host of documents by Oct. 15 as part of their impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
The Democrats said in their letter to Pence that failure to comply will be evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry and “may be used as an adverse inference against you and the president.”
The chairmen of the House committees leading the investigation said they're investigating the extent to which Trump "jeopardized national security by pressing Ukraine to interfere with our 2020 election and by withholding security assistance provided by Congress to help Ukraine counter Russian aggression, as well as any efforts to cover up these matters."
The White House has indicated it will not cooperate with document requests unless and until the full House votes to authorize the impeachment inquiry.
The request came after the The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Trump used Pence in his attempt to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden. The article was not conclusive on how much Pence knew about Trump's effort.
The Post said Pence's national security adviser monitored Trump's July call with Zelensky but didn't hear anything he felt should be relayed to the vice president.
CNN reported Thursday that Pence was given a transcript of call, but it's not clear if he read it.
The whistleblower complaint that sparked the impeachment inquiry by disclosing the call alleged that Trump instructed Pence to cancel plans to attend Zelensky’s inauguration, a detail given in the context of Trump wanting to wait to see how the new leader “chose to act” in office.
The White House maintains that Trump did nothing improper.
"Anyone that looks at the president's transcript (of the July call) will see that the president was raising issues that were appropriate, that were of genuine interest to the American people," Pence said Thursday.
Democrats requested documents related to the call, to Pence's own communications with Zelensky and to a number of other events.