President Donald Trump with Vice President Mike Pence in the White House Rose Garden in January 2019.Associated Press/Manuel Balce Ceneta
- House Democrats subpoenaed the White House and Vice President Mike Pence, asking for documents relating to President Donald Trump’s July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
- That call, during which Trump urged Zelensky to investigate Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden and his son for corruption, sparked a wide-ranging impeachment inquiry into Trump.
- The subpoenas were issued Friday night by the House Intelligence Committee, Foreign Affairs Committee, and Committee on Oversight and Reform.
- The committees accused the White House of “stonewalling,” saying that “it appears clear that the President has chosen the path of defiance, obstruction, and cover-up.”
- They also cited reports that Trump had Pence convey to Zelensky that the US would withhold military aid to Ukraine while it demanded a corruption investigation.
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House Democrats have formally subpoenaed the White House and Vice President Mike Pence as part of their impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump.
The subpoenas were issued on Friday night by the House Intelligence Committee, Foreign Affairs Committee, and Committee on Oversight and Reform in letters addressed to Pence and Mick Mulvaney, the White House Chief of Staff.
Both letters asked Mulvaney and Pence to submit documents relating to Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which the US president asked his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter for corruption.
Details of the call were made public last month in a whistleblower complaint filed by a US intelligence official in August, which sparked the impeachment inquiry.
Trump on the phone with Australia’s then-prime minister Malcolm Turnbull in the Oval Office in 2017.Associated Press/Alex Brandon
The same House committees issued a subpoena to Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, earlier this week. Giuliani had repeatedly said that he pushed Ukrainian officials to investigate the Bidens.
The letters come as a second intelligence official considers filing a whistleblower complaint of Trump’s interactions with Ukraine, according to The New York Times.
The Ukraine prosecutor general also announced on Friday that it is auditing an investigation into the owner of Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company where Hunter Biden sat on the board.
Hunter Biden and Joe Biden in April 2016.Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images for World Food Program USA
The letter to Mulvaney singled out two instances in which the White House ignored the committees’ requests to produce documents on the call, and attacked Trump’s claim to cooperate with House investigators as “patently false.”
“After nearly a month of stonewalling, it appears clear that the President has chosen the path of defiance, obstruction, and cover-up,” the letter said.
The letter to Pence cited a Washington Post report that Trump had the vice president convey to Zelensky that the US would withhold military aid to Ukraine while it demanded a corruption investigation.
The Ukrainians likely understood that the White House demand to investigate corruption was connected to Trump’s wish to probe Biden and his son.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Trump at the UN General Assembly in New York on September 25, 2019.REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
In the letter to Mulvaney, the committees also slammed the White House’s claim that the House must vote in full to approve an impeachment inquiry, saying that there is “no such requirement in the Constitution or in the House Rules.”
Trump reportedly plans to send a letter on Saturday arguing that the White House can ignore House demands for subpoenas, and other requests for documents and testimony, until the full House votes to approve an impeachment inquiry.