IN Focus: Pence visits Indiana amidst impeachment inquiry

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INDIANAPOLIS – In the midst of an impeachment inquiry, Vice President Mike Pence came to town to call for a new trade deal, asking Hoosiers to urge Congress to pass the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

“This is one of the things Donald Trump campaigned on when he was running for President in 2016,” said Political Science Professor Laura Wilson with the University of Indianapolis. “He was interested in renegotiating some of our economic ties and relationships with countries.”

But the future of this trade agreement is unknown as Congress focuses on the possibility of impeachment.

“Because essentially, it’s taking up all the oxygen in the room,” said Wilson. “You have six different committees working on impeachment inquiry now. They were already investigating the president. Anything policy wise including the agreement with Mexico, it’s going to become second.”

Vice President Pence didn’t go into detail about the impeachment inquiry, but did make a brief mention of the controversy encircling the White House.

“Whatever they want to do in Congress to construct our agenda or roll out their latest accusations against this President to divide this country President Donald Trump and I are never going to stop fighting,” said Pence.

“The Vice President works very closely with the President,” said Wilson. “He doesn’t want to throw him under the bus or insinuate anything that he says isn’t there yet so it makes perfect sense that that’s how he would frame them in terms of allegations versus an impeachment investigation.”

“This is dicey for him,” said Adam Wren, contributing editor at Politico and Indianapolis Monthly. “(Pence’s) political future is on the line. We could see him potentially ascend to the Presidency or he could go down if there is an impeachment, and there is a trial in the Senate we could see him connected to that.”

All in all, Wren said nothing about Pence’s visit to Indiana surprised him, including his silence towards the press. Secret Service kept reporters at a distance Friday. Some questions were yelled toward Vice President Pence but he did not respond.

We also spoke with journalist and author Tom LoBianco to discuss this week’s headlines and the impact on Pence’s inner circle.

In the video above, Wren and Wilson share their analysis on this week’s headlines, and we hear what Indiana lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are saying about the impeachment inquiry.

“This President has flagrantly abused the power of the Oval Office,” said Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN).

On the other side of the aisle, Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) disagrees.

“This has been a long time coming, nobody should be surprised. We should all be disappointed,” said Banks. “At this point, none of us have seen the complaint, none of us have seen the transcript of the phone call between President Trump and the president of the Ukraine, yet Democrats once again are jumping the gun and pushing forward an impeachment movement that the vast majority of the American people are against.”

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