House Democrats issued subpoenas to Vice President Mike Pence and Rudy Giuliani, giving them until Tuesday to hand over documents relating to their one-party impeachment inquiry. Well, Tuesday came and went, and neither Pence nor Giuliani complied with the subpoenas, leaving Democrats holding their own thumbs and realizing that they are impotent in their quest to knock this president out of the White House. Also ignoring House Democrat demands was the acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Russell Vought.
“The counsel for Vice President Mike Pence sent a letter to the chairmen of the House committees investigating President Trump and Ukraine on Tuesday informing them that he will not cooperate with a request for documents in their ‘self-proclaimed’ impeachment inquiry,” reported Axios.
Giuliani was even more forthright, explaining on Twitter: “I will not participate in an illegitimate, unconstitutional, and baseless ‘impeachment inquiry.’ Jon Sale, who is a lifelong friend, has represented me for the sole purpose of analyzing the request and responding. At this time, I do not need a lawyer.”
As for Vought and the OMB, the executive office sent House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a letter explaining his decision not to comply.
“The House of Representatives has yet to authorize such an inquiry,” the office correctly noted. “The Supreme Court has long held that the first step in assessing the validity of a subpoena from a congressional committee is determining ‘whether the committee was authorized’ to issue the subpoena, which requires ‘constru[ing] the scope of the authority which the House of Representatives gave to’ the committee.”
Fact is, Democrats can cry “obstruction” all they want, but their inquiry is entirely illegitimate. Nancy Pelosi could put this to the House floor tomorrow and get all the authority she needs to start enforcing these subpoenas. She won’t do it, because that would be a step she couldn’t take back – a step that would destroy any chance the Democrats have of holding onto the House majority next November. She also won’t do it because it would open this impeachment inquiry to Republican involvement, and that’s the last thing Pelosi wants. Then, witnesses might actually have to answer some tough questions.
So for now, we must treat this “inquiry” as the partisan joke that the White House, Mike Pence, Rudy Giuliani, the Defense Department, and the Office of Budget and Management have labeled it. Pelosi, through her own cowardice, has left us no other way to see it.