House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff just won’t take no for an answer …
Because Vice President Mike Pence has refused to capitulate to Schiff’s demands, he’s now spreading possible conspiracy theories (again) about the VP’s “knowledge of the president’s [ALLEGED] scheme to solicit Ukraine’s interference in the 2020 presidential election.”
Earlier this month Schiff asked Vice President Mike Pence to declassify the contents of a classified Sept. 18 call he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The Intelligence Committee chair has been trying to determine the contents of the call for months now and has in fact forced the VP’s aide Jennifer Williams to testify twice on the matter, both privately and then publicly.
During her public testimony last month, she abstained from discussing details of the call because the information is classified. Afterward, however, she provided the committee with a classified supplemental written submission containing the details that she’d been unable to convey during the public hearing.
In his original letter earlier this month, Schiff requested Pence declassify the contents of the call so that this submission could be made public:
NEW: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff sent a letter to Vice President Pence, requesting he declassify more material from one of his aides’ testimony in the House impeachment investigation.?? pic.twitter.com/H5ycAScI1M
— Elma Aksalic (@ElmaAksalic) December 7, 2019
In a rejection letter sent Dec. 11, Pence refused on the grounds that the Intelligence Committee’s impeachment investigation is over. So is the Judiciary Committee’s investigation. In fact, the entire House is slated to vote on impeachment Wednesday.
But Schiff refused to take no for an answer. And so on Tuesday, he submitted another letter doubling down on his original request and also accusing Pence of lying about his knowledge concerning President Donald Trump’s July 25th phone call with Zelensky.
A transcript of that call shows that the president asked his Ukrainian counterpart to look into credible allegations of corruption surrounding the 2016 U.S. presidential election and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.
Democrats have seized on the call and used it to craft their impeachment narrative, which is that the president “scheme[d] to solicit Ukraine’s interference in the 2020 presidential election.”
Pence has for his part denied being aware of any explicit scheme. So has every witness who’s been forced to testify to Congress. Williams did state though in her public testimony that she’d had concerns about the July 25th call. Of course, concerns and “presumptions” aren’t evidence.
But according to Schiff, Pence’s refusal to abide by his demands is definitely evidence of something. And as proof, in his latest letter the Intelligence Committee chair suggested that Pence is a liar.
Read the latest letter below:
JUST IN: Schiff suggests that a supplemental letter provided by a Pence aide — which the VP’s office won’t declassify — “raises profound questions” about Pence’s knowledge of Trump’s effort to get Ukraine to launch investigation. pic.twitter.com/BJL1mu4IIv
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) December 17, 2019
“Your office’s [rejection] letter is deeply troubling. Without prompting, the letter volunteers that ‘the Vice President never raised the Bidens, Burisma, or Crowdstrike in his conversation with President Zelensky,” it reads.
The White House has maintained since day one that Pence’s conversations and interactions with the Ukrainian president never — not once — involved discussions about Trump’s interest in having Zelensky investigate the Biden-linked corruption in Ukraine.
“If the Supplemental Submission accurately describes your September 18 conversation with President Zelensky, however, it raises profound questions about your knowledge of the President’s scheme to solicit Ukraine’s interference in the 2020 U.S. presidential election,” Schiff’s second letter reads.
“And it would mean that the representation of your communications with President Zelensky, as described in your office’s December 11 letter, may be purposefully misleading.”
While it’s possible that Williams’ submission contradicts the VP’s claims, until evidence emerges otherwise, it must be presumed Schiff is touting a conspiracy theory. There are three core reasons why.
One: The VP’s own denial.
What Pence actually wrote via his attorney, Matthew Morgan, was as follows:
“While the contents of a classified call with a foreign head of state should never have been discussed in an unclassified Committee hearing or an unclassified deposition, it is clear from public testimony that the Vice President never raised the Bidens, Burisma, or Crowdstrike in his conversation with President Zelensky.”
And as evidence, Pence noted this: “As you well know, a witness answered your direct question that the Vice President never raised those investigations. As such, the request to declassify and release another world leader transcript serves no purpose.”
Two: Schiff’s habit of lying.
For years the Intelligence Committee chair claimed to be in possession of irrefutable evidence proving that Trump colluded with Russian operatives to affect the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. But as the conclusion of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s collusion investigation earlier this year proved, that was a lie.
Three: William’s faulty memory.
When testifying last month about the July 25th call, Williams made a huge error.
“She reported that the now-public transcript of the call ‘generally matched [her] recollection from the call’ except that her ‘notes did reflect that the word Burisma had come up in the call, that the President had mentioned Burisma,'” Lawfare notes.
“During her testimony, Williams explained that, in her notes of the call, she ‘had written that President Trump had raised Burisma.’ But in a letter appended to the end of the deposition, William’s counsel recants this assertion, noting that ‘Ms. Williams reviewed her notes again and discovered that her recollection had been incorrect. Her notes reflect that President Zelensky mentioned Burisma during the July 25 call. They do not indicate that President Trump did so.'”
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