Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Pence, Giuliani Say They Won’t Give Congress Documents in Trump Impeachment Inquiry

Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images
Vice president’s office denies records request and Trump’s personal lawyer says he won’t comply with subpoena
The office of Vice President Mike Pence declined a records request from House committees leading an impeachment inquiry into President Trump, while Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, said he doesn’t intend to comply with a congressional subpoena for documents.
The Office of Management and Budget also didn’t comply Tuesday with a subpoena for documents about a delay in disbursing nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine, according to a senior administration official. House Democrats are seeking documents about why the aid was withheld.
The White House and its allies deny that the aid was withheld as part of a quid pro quo in exchange for investigations by Ukraine.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that a political official, Michael Duffey, was given authority to hold up the money after career staff questioned the legality of the delay. Mr. Duffey also now signs off on the process for approving and releasing funds for other foreign-aid and defense accounts, a breach from precedent.
Photo: brendan smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
Tuesday’s moves escalate the battle between the Trump administration and House Democrats, who are focusing on Mr. Trump’s July call with his Ukrainian counterpart. In that call, Mr. Trump pressed for investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden, a front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, and Mr. Biden’s son Hunter. Hunter Biden served on the board of Ukrainian natural-gas company Burisma Holdings Ltd. while his father oversaw U.S. policy on Ukraine as vice president. Both have denied wrongdoing.
Mr. Trump has said there was nothing wrong with what he said on the call and has called the Democratic probe a witch hunt. Mr. Giuliani has said that he worked in conjunction with the State Department and that there was nothing wrong with his efforts to press Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.
Mr. Pence’s office, in denying the request for documents, reiterated the administration’s argument that the process isn’t being conducted fairly and that it denies due process.
“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,” reads a letter sent by the vice president's office Tuesday evening to the chairmen of the investigating committees.
Mr. Giuliani said his lawyer, Jon Sale, sent a letter to Congress, saying he wouldn’t comply with the subpoena. Mr. Sale is no longer representing him, Mr. Giuliani said.
Read the rest from the WSJ HERE.

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