Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday, Oct. 15, refused to comply with House Democrats’ request for a long list of documents as part of its impeachment inquiry.
The vice president’s counsel, Matthew E. Morgan, shared the news in a letter to the chairs of the investigating committees on Tuesday evening. He’s echoing President Donald Trump’s lawyers’ complaints that the House has not held a formal vote on the investigation.
Morgan blasted a “purported ‘impeachment inquiry,‘” saying it “has been designed and implemented in a manner that calls into question” the members’ “commitment to fundamental fairness and due process rights.”
“As detailed in the White House Counsel Letter, the House of Representatives has not authorized any “impeachment inquiry.” Specifically, the operative House rules do not delegate to any committee the authority to conduct an inquiry under the impeachment power of Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution,” the letter wrote.
“Never before in history has the Speaker of the House attempted to launch an “impeachment inquiry” against a President without a majority of the House of Representatives voting to authorize a constitutionally acceptable process,” it added.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that there would be no vote soon to formalize the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. She countered that Congress is well within its authority to investigate as part of its oversight role. Pelosi had gathered lawmakers for a closed session after House leaders surveyed rank-and-file members about it.
Morgan, counsel to the Vice President, concluded in the letter: “The Office of the Vice President encourages the Committees to forgo their request to the Office of the Vice President, or hold it in abeyance, pending your discussion with the White House Counsel’s Office concerning compliance with constitutionally mandated procedures. Similarly, the Office of the Vice President encourages the Committees to first seek information from primary sources that may be responsive to your broad requests.”
Earlier, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani stated that he refuses to comply with a congressional subpoena for testimony of information regarding the impeachment inquiry led by House Democrats.
“Please accept this response as formal notice that Mr. Giuliani will not participate because this appears to be an unconstitutional, baseless, and illegitimate ‘impeachment inquiry,’” the statement said, calling the subpoena “overboard, unduly burdensome, and seeks documents beyond the scope of legitimate inquiry.”
House Democrats reportedly sent Giuliani a subpoena on Sept. 30 demanding documents related to his work in Ukraine, a centerpiece of an ongoing impeachment inquiry into Trump, and gave him a deadline of Oct. 15 to comply with the impeachment probe, according to the National Review.
The White House and Republicans have dismissed the probe as “illegitimate” because there has been no formal House vote to open impeachment proceedings.
Includes reporting from the Associated Press.