House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Denny Heck (D-Wash.) said Friday that there is no reason for the White House to defy a congressional subpoena for Ukraine-related documents unless President Trump is “guilty.”
Asked what would happen if the White House doesn’t comply with the subpoena, Heck told CNN, “Defiance of this act constitutes obstruction of a legitimate congressional inquiry in pursuit of impeachment, and as a consequence of that we will presume or infer that he is not innocent of whatever it is that we’re out to verify with the documentation.”
“There is no other reason for him to withhold it, to hide it, unless of course he’s guilty,” he added, referring to Trump.
.@RepDennyHeck explains the “incredibly damning” evidence facing Trump:
“The call report, the President’s own words, in which he said… ‘I need you to do us a favor, though,’ and that combined with what Ambassador Taylor said about it being crazy to withhold security assistance” pic.twitter.com/Fj90ySt1nC
— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) October 4, 2019
House Democrats earlier Friday issued a subpoena to the White House requesting documents related to the president’s dealings with Ukraine. Committees also sent a request to Vice President Pence for documents as their impeachment probe heats up.
“We deeply regret that President Trump has put us—and the nation—in this position, but his actions have left us with no choice but to issue this subpoena,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) wrote to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.
In their letter, they also warned that defiance of the subpoena would be used as evidence of obstruction. They have given the White House until Oct. 18 to produce the documents.
The White House said in a statement Friday night that the subpoena “changes nothing – just more document requests, wasted time, and taxpayer dollars that will ultimately show the President did nothing wrong.”
“The Do Nothing Democrats can continue with their kangaroo court while the President and his Administration will continue to work on behalf of the American people,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham added in the statement.
Last week, Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, largely based on a call in which Trump encouraged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to “look into” Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
Trump has maintained that his actions were proper while blasting criticism from the few GOP figures who have raised concerns about his efforts.