Ever since the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump and the Ukraine scandal began, the White House has resolutely refused to cooperate, ordering members of the administration not to testify, even if they’re under subpoena. Despite that instruction, many have already defied that advice and given sworn depositions.
There was some question whether or not a top aide to Vice President Mike Pence would appear today and tell what Pence knew about the call Trump made to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. But she did, NPR reports:
“Jennifer Williams was assigned to work on European and Russian issues with the vice president’s team in the spring. She is the first person from the vice president’s office to testify in the probe of whether the president withheld military aid from Ukraine while seeking a political favor.
“Williams, who reported to Pence’s national security adviser Keith Kellogg, is the third person who was listening in on the July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to testify. House investigators are expected to ask Williams about that call, as well as a September trip to Poland in which Pence met with Zelensky”
So far, Pence has desperately tried to assert that he had no role in the withholding of military aid to Ukraine, and yet when he’s asked about it, he never has a very good response as to what he knew and when he knew it.
On CNN Wednesday evening, there was an extensive discussion of exactly what information Williams might be able to give the House committee, with reporter Kaitlan Collins telling host Erin Burnett:
“(Williams is) also notable because of what she knows. She was on that July call with the president and the president of Ukraine, and that call that is at the center of all of this. The questions are about what she heard.
“We are told by sources that she was concerned about what she heard, and it is not clear, and we do not believe, that she registered those complaints with anyone higher up.”
— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) November 7, 2019
The very fact that Williams did show up and testify under oath is bad news for Trump. But it may well be much worse news for Pence, who is hoping to stay clear of the scandal that is consuming the White House and members of the cabinet.
We should know exactly what Williams told the committee within a week or so when the transcripts of her deposition are released. Until then, it’s safe to say Mike Pence will be very worried, because if the VP played a role in this corrupt abuse of power, he could also be facing impeachment and removal from office.