Schiff demands Pence declassify phone call with Ukraine

It turns out that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and his Intelligence Committee are still investigating the Ukraine matter, despite already handing in a 300-page report on their impeachment inquiry findings. And Vice President Mike Pence is in Schiff’s crosshairs.

According to Schiff, Jennifer Williams, a national security aide to Pence, provided the committee with additional classified evidence about a phone call that took place between Pence and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky in September. On Friday, Schiff issued a demand that Pence declassify the call, saying that there was no “legitimate” reason for it to be classified.

Williams’ supplemental testimony

Williams has testified before Schiff’s committee both in private, early in November, and then later in public. For her part, she has said that the July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Zelensky which is at the heart of the Democrat impeachment inquiry was “unusual and inappropriate” and that it seemed to be “political” in nature.

But, like other witnesses, Williams’ testimony did not stop there. According to Schiff, on November 26th, a week after Williams’ public testimony, she submitted a supplemental filing to the committee.

We now know that this supplemental filing was about a phone call that Pence had with Zelensky on September 18th. We also now know that parts of this phone call have been classified by the Trump administration.

What does Schiff want now?

Late Friday, Schiff wrote a letter to Vice President Pence asking that the phone call be declassified.

“The Office of the Vice President’s decision to classify ‘certain portions’ of the Sept. 18 call … cannot be justified on national security or any other legitimate grounds we can discern,” Schiff wrote. “Having reviewed the supplemental submission, the committee strongly believes that there is no legitimate basis for the Office of the Vice President to assert that the information … is classified.”

Despite the phone call being classified, Williams has already spoken about it in her testimony, saying that it was a follow-up to a September 1st meeting between Pence and Zelensky, that it was a “very positive call,” and that there was no mention of any of the investigations that Trump supposedly ordered.

Nonetheless, an official for the Intelligence Committee says that “declassification of this supplemental testimony will allow the Congress to see further corroborative evidence as it considers articles of impeachment, and provide the public further understanding of the events in question.”

Looking forward

What this all goes to show is that Schiff is still investigating even though his committee already sent the matter forward.

Why? Because he and the Democrats know that they have a very weak case for impeachment against Trump.

On Saturday, Pence’s office denied the request, saying it was unclear what information Schiff wanted. “Because Adam Schiff continues to operate in an underhanded manner, the Office of the Vice President does not even know what he wants declassified,” spokeswoman Katie Waldman said. “It’s simply further proof that this shoddy committee is pursuing a sham investigation.”

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