Top Democrats ask Mike Pence to turn over Ukraine documents

Washington - On Capitol Hill, Democrats in Congress leading an impeachment probe have requested documents related to President Donald Trump’s policy toward Ukraine from Vice President Mike Pence.

They made their request on Friday in a letter addressed to Pence in which the Democratic chairmen of three House committees cite reports that a Pence aide may have listened to a phone call in which Trump allegedly sought Ukraine’s help to smear the former vice president and current front-runner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, Joe Biden.

During the July 25 call, Trump reportedly urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy about eight times to work with his lawyer Rudy Giuliani to investigate government corruption involving Biden and his son, Hunter.

Now, in their letter, senior House Democrats said: "Recently, public reports have raised questions about any role you may have played in conveying or reinforcing the president's stark message to the Ukrainian president."

"Pursuant to the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry, we are hereby requesting that you produce the documents set forth in the accompanying schedule by October 15, 2019."
“Your failure or refusal to comply with the request, including at the direction 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 chairman of the three committees wrote in the letter.

The chairman also said that the Democrats had subpoenaed the White House for documents related to their impeachment investigation.

“We deeply regret that President Trump has put us — and the nation — in this position, but his actions have left us with no choice but to issue this subpoena,” the chairmen wrote.  House Democrats, spearheaded by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, launched late last month the impeachment inquiry of Trump after a whistleblower’s disclosure of the president’s phone call.

The U.S. president dismissed the Ukraine allegations as another witch-hunt attempting to smear his already tarnished reputation and damage his popularity as the Americans get closer to the 2020 presidential election.

According to a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll, nearly half of Americans believe Trump should be impeached.  The opinion poll found that 45 percent of adults believe the US president "should be impeached," compared with 37 percent in a similar poll taken the week before.

The poll findings reflect several other recent surveys, which have shown that support is increasing among Americans for an impeachment inquiry into Trump.

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