Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer: Newly released emails show importance of White House witnesses in Senate trial Senate Democrat: Pelosi ‘doing exactly the right thing’ withholding articles of impeachment Senate Democrat: Not unreasonable for Pelosi to wait to transfer impeachment articles MORE (D-N.Y.) on Monday called for sensitive administration documents to be presented as evidence at the impeachment trial after it was revealed over the weekend that the White House tried to conceal its dealings with Ukraine.
Schumer argued in a letter circulated to senators that emails recently made public show that Michael Duffey, the associate director for national security at the White House budget office, ordered Pentagon officials in July to “hold off” on sending military aid to Ukraine and to keep the action secret because of its “sensitive nature.”
“Relevant documentary evidence currently in the possession of the Administration will augment the existing evidentiary record and will allow Senators to reach judgments informed by all of the available facts,” Schumer wrote.
He warned that Republicans who decline to compel the White House to turn over key documentary evidence would undercut the perceived fairness of the trial.
“To oppose the admission of this evidence would be to turn a willfully blind eye to the facts, and would clearly be at odds with the obligation of Senators to ‘do impartial justice’ according to the oath we will all take in the impeachment trial,” he wrote.
Schumer’s letter shifts the focus from potential witnesses, such as acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyRepublicans attack Pelosi for impeachment stalemate Senate Democrat: Pelosi ‘doing exactly the right thing’ withholding articles of impeachment Graham says he doesn’t think GOP senators will vote to compel testimony from Mulvaney, Bolton MORE and former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonBolton says he doesn’t think Trump admin ‘really means it’ on stopping North Korea nukes Republicans attack Pelosi for impeachment stalemate Senate Democrat: Pelosi ‘doing exactly the right thing’ withholding articles of impeachment MORE, to key documents that may provide more details on how the administration pressured Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPanel: Did Joe Biden just assure Donald Trump’s victory? Trump had brief encounter with Giuliani on Saturday The one issue where Democrats are to the right of Trump MORE and whether it later tried to keep its action secret.
“It is essential that the Senate hear from certain witnesses in order to conduct a full, fair and speedy trial,” Schumer wrote, but also urged “senators to consider another, equally important aspect of the trial that has thus far received less attention: the need for the Senate to review documentary evidence.”
The Democratic leader broke his request into three categories: documents that reveal the effort to “induce and pressure” to investigate Biden; documents that show the White House withheld a meeting “desperately sought” by newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky; and documents related to the decision to hold and later release $391 million in military assistance to Ukraine.