The top Senate Democrat called today’s new evidence a “devastating blow” to President Trump’s defense in the looming impeachment trial in the Senate while the Speaker of the House chastised Trump for “phony complaints” about the process to charge him with crimes of office.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) took to Twitter to excoriate Trump in a viral tweet sharing the bombshell revelations obtained in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by Just Security that highlights the central role that President Trump played in the withholding of military aid to Ukraine.
Trump engaged in unprecedented, total obstruction of Congress, hiding these emails, all other documents, and his top aides from the American people.
His excuse was a phony complaint about the House process.
What’s the excuse now? Why won’t Trump & McConnell allow a fair trial? https://t.co/S3ZlEJMMDB
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 2, 2020
“What’s the excuse now?” the Speaker asked acidly, saving her fire for the Republican Senate Majority leader at the end of her statement. “Why won’t Trump & McConnell allow a fair trial?”
The release of even a small amount of written material reveals that the very highest levels of the military were engaged in fighting the White House’s obstruction of Ukrainian security aid, which the Pentagon believed was illegal under the Impoundment Control Act, which dictates that the president must spend the money which Congress allocates.
Since Trump kept Congress in the dark when he was required to send formal notice, as well as delayed the spending of the funds past the end of the fiscal year, it appears that he violated the Impoundment Control Act.
“Clear direction from POTUS to continue to hold,” begins the report from Kate Brennan, which relies on unredacted copies of emails that she viewed that were only partly released to the Center for Public Integrity alst month; those email directly place Trump in the middle of the impeachable offenses.
Another shocking revelation is that the Deputy Secretary of Defense — a Trump appointee — had prepared a letter demanding the funds to be released.
After months of back and forth between the OMB and the Pentagon official trying to follow the law and convince the White House to do the same, according to Just Security‘s report. That’s when Duffey turned around and wrote a scurrilous email blaming the Defense Department for the hold in early September after Trump learned of the whistleblower complaint.
“You can’t be serious,” replied Elaine McCusker, the acting Pentagon comptroller. “I am speechless.”
Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) issued a statement saying the new evidence is a “devastating blow to Senator McConnell’s push” to have an unfair trial. “The American people deserve a fair trial that gets to the truth, not a rigged process that enables a cover-up.”
Republicans have argued for months that President Trump shouldn’t be impeached because he didn’t commit a crime.
Today’s revelations point the finger directly at President Trump for the scheme to extort Ukraine’s president into opening politically useful investigations in a way that won’t go away anytime soon, and they show that he violated the Impoundment Control Act with the full knowledge of his staff.
Grant Stern is an Editor-At-Large for OccupyDemocrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition