House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff says the fact that Vice President Mike Pence has blocked the panel from seeing the supplemental impeachment testimony of a top aide who testified in the hearings calls into question what exactly Pence is trying to hide.
"If the Supplemental Submission accurately describes your September 18 conversation with [Ukrainian] President Zelensky," Schiff wrote Tuesday in a letter to Pence, "it raises profound questions about your knowledge of the President's scheme to solicit Ukraine interference in the 2020 U.S. presidential election." Schiff added that the material also indicates that Pence's original descriptions of his communications with Zelensky in a letter to the committee "may be purposefully misleading."
Pence's office classified the supplemental testimony from top national security aide Jennifer Williams regarding the contents of his Sept. 18 call with Zelensky. Williams made the supplemental submission on Nov. 26, and for weeks the vice president has been ignoring calls by the House Intelligence Committee to declassify the material.
Pence and his team clearly didn't help his case in a Dec. 11 letter to the Intelligence Committee by denying things that he was never accused of doing. "Without prompting, the letter volunteers that 'the Vice President never raised the Bidens, Burisma, or Crowdstrike in his conversations with President Zelensky,'" Schiff wrote, adding, "The Committee neither asserted that, nor asked whether, you specifically used those words during your September 18, 2019 call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine." Oops.
Pence's office is also bizarrely claiming ignorance of the information the panel seeks after it was solely responsible for informing Williams' attorney that the submission contained classified material.
Schiff urged Pence's office to release the information, calling it "directly relevant" to Congress' current consideration of the articles of impeachment against Donald Trump. He also told Pence that his continued refusal to cooperate with the inquiry called into question whether his efforts were intended "not just to protect President Trump, but yourself as well."
Schiff requested a response by Dec. 19.