Sep 23, 2019

Chuck Schumer demands Senate investigation of Trump-Ukraine allegations

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday called on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to launch an investigation into allegations that President Trump asked the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden in exchange for security assistance.

Why it matters: The request is likely to fall on deaf ears. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) is the only Republican thus far to condemn the allegations — at least part of which Trump has confirmed himself — as "troubling in the extreme."

Driving the news: Trump confirmed on Sunday that he discussed Biden and his son during a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25.

  • It's not yet clear whether the conversation is related to a controversial whistleblower complaint that the Trump administration has refused to turn over to Congress, which Schumer also called on his Republican colleagues to investigate.
  • "The Republican Senate's 'see no evil, hear no evil' attitude toward such a serious national security concern is unacceptable & must change," Schumer wrote.

Schumer requested that Senate committees take the following actions:

  • Convene hearings with acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani, among others.
  • Issue a subpoena for the whistleblower complaint.
  • Request that the White House release transcripts of the conversation between Trump and Zelensky.
  • Identify who in the administration requested the delay of $341 million in security assistance to Ukraine.
  • Insist the Office of Legal Counsel provide a legal opinion or guidance on the administration's obligation to give the whistleblower complaint to Congress.

Go deeper: Trump's defiance on Ukraine

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Mitt Romney calls for Trump-Ukraine whistleblower complaint to be released

Mitt Romney. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) told NBC News' Geoff Bennett on Monday that the Trump administration should make the whistleblower complaint that reportedly involves the president and Ukraine available to Congress, adding that it would be "very helpful to get [to] the bottom of the facts."

The big picture: Romney continues to be the only Republican senator to condemn allegations that Trump pressured Ukraine's president to investigate Joe Biden, tweeting on Sunday that the reports are "troubling in the extreme." Romney told NBC that it would be "up to the House to decide how to proceed" if the administration fails to release the whistleblower complaint.

Go deeperArrowSep 23, 2019

Trump calls GOP Sen. Mitt Romney a "pompous ass"

Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images and Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

President Trump referred to Mitt Romney as a "pompous ass" on Saturday in response to the Republican senator's criticism of Trump for his "brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine" to investigate the Bidens.

Why it matters: Romney, who criticized the Trump-Ukraine allegations after reading the whistleblower complaint, is one of the first Republican senators to denounce Trump's calls for China or Ukraine to investigate one of his top 2020 rivals.

Go deeperArrowOct 5, 2019

Trump-Ukraine scandal: The key players, dates and documents

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The House's impeachment inquiry has been driven forward by new disclosures of what exactly President Trump wanted the government of Ukraine to do — revealed in 3 key documents, but nonetheless distorted and disputed along the way.

We've gathered the key players, events and disclosures of the Trump-Ukraine saga in one place to clear up what's happened so far and examine where we go from here.

Go deeperArrowOct 8, 2019