As Mitch McConnell pushes a sham trial, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer is asking all Ukraine documents and evidence at Trump’s impeachment trial.
Schumer wrote in a letter to his colleagues, which he provided to PoliticusUSA:
As the Senate prepares for the impeachment trial of President Trump, there has been a great deal of discussion regarding the need for the testimony of witnesses. I believe it is essential that the Senate hear from certain witnesses in order to conduct a full, fair and speedy trial in this case, and I made this clear to Leader McConnell both in my written proposal of December 15th and when we met in person on December 19th.
I am writing today to ask all 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. In my December 15th letter, I proposed that the Senate subpoena both a short list of four witnesses and a limited set of relevant documents from the Administration. These documents fall into three evidentiary categories: (1) the effort to induce and pressure Ukraine to announce certain political investigations; (2) the withholding of a White House meeting desperately sought by the newly-elected President of Ukraine; and (3) the order to hold, and later release, $391 million in military assistance to Ukraine.
The House of Representatives amassed a tremendous amount of evidence in support of the Articles of Impeachment, including extensive testimony, given in public and under oath, by senior Administration officials appointed by President Trump. However, the House was unable to gain access to a body of additional relevant evidence because of President Trump’s unprecedented, Administration-wide directive to defy all subpoenas issued by the House, notwithstanding the fact that the House issued those subpoenas lawfully and pursuant to its constitutional impeachment power.
As a result of this directive, the White House, Department of State, Office of Management and Budget and other agencies refused to produce a single document in response to the House’s duly-issued subpoenas. This directive not only deprived the House of relevant evidence, it will also prevent the Senate from seeing the available evidence unless the Senate takes action to obtain it. By way of comparison, in the impeachment trial of President Clinton, the Senate had the benefit of thousands of pages of documents from the Department of Justice investigation by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr.
There simply is no good reason why evidence that is directly relevant to the conduct at issue in the Articles of Impeachment should be withheld from the Senate and the American people. 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. 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.
As the corporate media rings their hands over the impeachment trial impasse, Democrats are turning up the heat and making even more specific requests for information. Trump and McConnell think that they can stick to their plan and Democrats will eventually yield and they can skim through a trial that lets Trump off the hook.
Schumer and Pelosi aren’t playing games. The Democrats are turning up the heat, and instead of backing down, they are asking for even more transparency and investigation.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association