Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Indianapolis on Thursday to promote a U.S. trade pact with Canada and Mexico that, if approved, would replace NAFTA.
The former Indiana governor’s two-day return to his home state also comes amid an impeachment inquiry involving accusations that President Donald Trump tried to pressure a foreign leader to investigate a political rival.
The U.S. House formally launched an inquiry Tuesday amid reports that Trump tried to push Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former vice president Joe Biden, who is running for the Democratic nomination for president.
A day before the inquiry began, Pence defended his own and the president’s conversations with the Ukrainian president, telling Fox News’ Sean Hannity that there was no quid pro quo when Trump brought up Biden during Trump’s congratulatory call to the newly elected president in July.
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The inquiry was sparked by an intelligence official’s anonymous whistleblower complaint that was made public Thursday.
The complaint appears related to a July 25 phone call Trump had with Zelensky. Trump released a five-page summary of the call Wednesday, which revealed the president asking Zelensky to investigate Biden while the president withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to that country.
Pence is scheduled to speak at 12:15 p.m. at MacAllister Machinery, a heavy equipment supplier at 6300 Southeastern Ave., on the benefits of the Trump administration’s proposed trade pact, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The policy event is hosted by America First Policies, a nonprofit group that promotes Trump’s campaign agenda.
On Friday, Pence is scheduled to tour the NeuroDiagnostic Institute and Advanced Treatment Center, on the campus of Community Hospital East, and take part in a roundtable discussion with public health leaders. He and his wife are set to return to Washington that evening.