Amid Ukraine Uproar, Pence Closes Ranks With Trump
As President Trump stares down the barrel of impeachment, his vice president has shown himself to be a team player, taking pains to eliminate the appearance of any daylight between himself and his beleaguered boss amid the Ukraine uproar.
Democrats want to see any documents from Pence that relate to the controversy, specifically anything to do with the July 25 phone call between Trump and his Ukranian counterpart. The vice president, it was reported, knew about the conversation that would become the basis for impeachment efforts.
"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," wrote House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel and House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings.
“The Office of the Vice President received the letter after it was released to the media and it has been forwarded to Counsel’s Office for a response,” Pence Press Secretary Katie Waldman told RealClearPolitics.
“Given the scope, it does not appear to be a serious request but just another attempt by the Do-Nothing Democrats to call attention to their partisan impeachment.”
Amid the impeachment vortex that has consumed Capitol Hill, Pence will continue his work on the economy, the military, and negotiating trade deals, Waldman noted. The latter, in particular, is a special focus of the second in command.
Rumors swirl about the vice president’s future, specifically his vision for a presidency of his own after a second Trump term -- or after an abbreviated first term. Judging by public statements over the past two days and now his office’s dismissal of House Democrats’ request, it seems he’s tuned out such speculation.
Pence did not flinch in responding just hours after Trump suggested that the Chinese, like the Ukrainians, investigate the business dealings of Hunter Biden, the son of potential 2020 opponent Joe Biden. This administration was elected, Pence told reporters, to “drain the swamp.”
Allegations floated by the president and personal attorney Rudy Giuliani that Hunter Biden traded off his father’s name illegally during that vice president’s time in office were, according to Pence, “worth looking into.”
In addition, he said, recruiting foreign countries into that effort is worthwhile also: “The president made it very clear that he believes … other nations around the world should look into it as well.”
This response will not endear him to Democrats, many of whom admit that the conservative vice president would pursue many of the same policies as his boss if Trump were forced from the Oval Office ahead of Jan. 20, 2020. But the rhetoric of Pence and the all-elbows statement from his office make clear that he is all in for the coming impeachment fight.
Pence may have other ambitions, but he appears committed to the president who brought him into the White House in the first place.