VP Pence refuses to give documents to impeachment inquiry

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Vice President Mike Pence, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, left, and national security adviser Robert O’Brien, speaks to reporters outside the West Wing of the White House on Oct. 14, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence is refusing to comply with House Democrats’ request for a long list of documents as part of its impeachment inquiry.

The vice president’s counsel, Matthew E. Morgan, shared the news in a letter to the chairs of the investigating committees Tuesday evening. He’s echoing President Donald Trump’s lawyers’ complaints that the House has not held a formal vote on the investigation.

Morgan is slamming what he’s calling a “purported ‘impeachment inquiry,'” claiming it “has been designed and implemented in a manner that calls into question” the members’ “commitment to fundamental fairness and due process rights.”

The announcement came as President Donald Trump said Vice President Pence will travel to Turkey on Wednesday to try to reach a ceasefire deal. Trump has demanded an immediate end to Turkey’s assault against Kurdish fighters and civilians in Syria — an assault Turkey began after Trump announced he was moving U.S. troops out of the way. Trump also announced new sanctions Monday to try to pressure Turkey.

Pence will lead a delegation to Ankara that will include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien. They will be meeting with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Trump’s comments came during a Rose Garden ceremony celebrating the Stanley Cup-winning St. Louis Blues.

House Democrats are currently gauging support for a vote to formally authorize the impeachment inquiry in the face of White House stonewalling.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to meet privately with Democratic lawmakers later Tuesday to gauge support.

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