Chairs of the Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs committees in the House of Reps gave the vice president until October 15 to turn over all he has on Ukraine.
October 4, 2019

Oh, dear. Vice president Mike Pence will have a lot to do in the next 10 days, should he choose to comply with the letter he has just received from the top Democrats of the Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, and Oversight committees in the House.

Reps. Elliot Engel, Adam Schiff, and Elijah Cummings sent a demand to Pence with a long list of documents he must produce, pursuant to the impeachment inquiry related to Trump's pressuring Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. When the news broke of the letter and document request, CNN's Brooke Baldwin asked Samantha Vinograd what exactly the Dems were looking for.

VINOGRAD: They're looking for any indication that Vice President Pence was knowledgeable about president Trump's private efforts to put pressure on president Trump. Leave aside any public indications, these documents are geared at getting information that Pence was in the know with respect to their phone calls. These private channels, like Ambassador Sondland and Ambassador Volker. And that's what these three committees are trying to establish. Pence has been playing the ignorance is bliss card ever since he came into office.

BALDWIN: Remind us. Give us examples.

VINOGRAD: His defense right now is He didn't do his job well. Remember, he went and met with Zelensky. President Trump stayed home. Any basic prep for a vice president would include finding out what happened on the last presidential phone call with a leader. Speaking to the State Department. Speaking with the special envoy for Ukraine. Pence's defense has been that he stinks at his job and didn't do any of that.

Pence also played the ignorance is bliss card in regard to the illegal activities of then National Security Advisor Mike Flynn was up to, with respect to working to do illegal things that he ultimately resigned for. So, Pence's defense again, is that he didn't know what was going on.

Now these committees have a real way of finding out. They can subpoena information related to whether pence had a staffer on this call with Zelensky, they can subpoena information with respect to a readout of Pence's meeting with Zelensky when he traveled to see him, they can subpoena information with respect to his talking points, any prep that he did before he arrived for that meeting. So there's a trail of paper that they can try to get at and they can also subpoena Zelensky's own staff to find out what they briefed him on before he engaged with the Ukrainians.

So, as Vinograd put it, his defense is that he's terrible at his job. While it is indeed true that he's terrible at his job, what's really going on is that Pence has made a habit of playing dumb in the hopes it will exonerate him of wrong-doing and keep him out of the spotlight of suspicion. Unfortunately for him, the Dems aren't shining just one spotlight, but an entire set of industrial-strength floodlights on him and anyone remotely connected with this extortion for election help scheme.

Chairmen Engel, Cummings, and Schiff included a 3-page, single-spaced list of documents for Pence to produce related to this mafia-like shake-down. Of course, like a good mafia soldier, he will not comply, and we are likely in for a long court battle. Who know, though? Maybe before it gets to the Supreme Court, they'll BOTH be impeached and removed, and we'll have President Pelosi.

Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.