The chairmen of several committees in the Democrat-controlled US House of Representatives have given Pence until October 15 to supply them with documents relevant to their investigation into Trump's July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Trump's subsequent hushing up of a whistleblower report about the call.
The letter provides extensive context for the requests, including a section, "reports relating to your involvement during this period," which notes that according to a Washington Post report from Wednesday, "President Trump repeatedly 'used' you 'in efforts to exert pressure on the leader of Ukraine at a time when the president was using other channels to solicit information that he hoped would be damaging to a Democratic rival.'"
"It remains unclear to what extent you had knowledge of specific aspects of some of these events," the letter notes.
Specific requests made by the letter include, "for the time period from January 1, 2019, to the present," documents including "all recordings, transcripts, notes (including electronic and hand-written notes), summaries, and draft versions of the official 'Memorandum of Telephone Conversation;' all preparatory memoranda and materials, including the full presidental call package and any addenda; the identity of all individuals who listened to, participated in, assisted in preparation for, transcribed, took notes during, reviewed the call record or transcript, or received information about the April 21, 2019, and July 25, 2019, telephone conversations; all memoranda, briefing materials, summaries, and other documents received by you or officials in the Office of the Vice President (OVP) referring or relating to the July 25, 219, call."
The letter further asks for communications between the White House and a slew of agencies and persons relating to the calls, as well as to other meetings with Ukrainian officials, and information about financial decisions made with regard to Ukraine.
"Your failure or refusal to comply with the request, including at the direct or behest of the President or the White House, shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House's impeachment inquiry and may be used as an adverse inference against you and the President," the letter notes, sent by heads of the committees on Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight and Reform.
Pence is just the probe's latest target in the Trump administration: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was served a subpoena last week in connection to the probe, and investigators have spoken with other cabinet members such as Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Pompeo subsequently confirmed he was on the call, and Trump has implicated Pence in the conversation, too.