Vice President Mike Pence refused House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff’s request to declassify a September phone call between him and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy because he believes it does not contribute to the Ukraine case that seeks to impeach President Trump.
Schiff (D-Calif.) asked last week that Pence release the contents of his Sept. 18 call with Zelenskiy, according to The Western Journal.
The call was cited in testimony before Schiff’s committee by Jennifer Williams, a member of Pence’s staff.
Williams served as special adviser to the vice president on European and Russian affairs. She testified under subpoena at closed-door hearings before the House Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs Committee on Nov. 9, 2019, and then gave public testimony before the House 10 days later.
However, Williams said the call did not mention the issues that have arisen in the impeachment investigation.
In fact Williams testified that on the Sept. 18 call, Pence was simply following up to a Sept. 1 meeting with Zelenskiy and in advance of a meeting between Trump and Zelenskiy at the United Nations in New York scheduled for the following week. She described it as a “very positive call” and said there was no mention of any of the investigations that Trump had mentioned to Zelenskiy, Politico reported.
The Hill obtained a copy of the reply written by Matthew Morgan, a lawyer for Vice President Pence in which among other things he said that there was no reason to publish the content of the call.
“As you well know, a witness answered your direct question that the vice president never raised those investigations. As such, the request to declassify and release another world leader transcript serves no purpose,” the letter said, referring to the transcripts published by President Donald Trump about two calls between him and Zelenskiy.
The letter also criticized the House Intelligence Committee for writing in its report that it had requested Pence’s information when the request was not made until after the report was approved.
“This once again illustrates the committee’s lack of commitment to fundamental fairness and due process,” the letter said.
“The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has already voted out its partisan Report and transmitted it to the House Judiciary Committee. Your request, coming after the completion of your Report, serves no legitimate legislative or impeachment inquiry purpose,” the letter said.
Since the impeachment against President Donald Trump began, members of the Republican Party, analysts, and the public have criticized the severe irregularities of the process.
Moreover, some have even predicted that these contradictions will make it clear that the president did not commit a crime, reinforcing his positive image and becoming an authentic ‘boomerang’ for the Democratic opposition that seeks to win the presidential elections in 2020.
President Trump has been accused by Democratic lawmakers, who allege that he called the Ukrainian president to offer economic aid in exchange for the Ukrainian government investigating former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who is his political rival in the 2020 elections.
The indictment was based on an anonymous whistleblower who was linked to the CIA.
The White House strongly denied the accusations made against the president and published the transcripts of the talks between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
The conversation shows that Trump did not pressure or offer any financial compensation to Ukraine to investigate the son of Joe Biden, who was involved in a case of corruption of the main gas company in the Eastern European country.