Updated Dec 24, 2019

Schumer argues for White House document production before Trump impeachment trial

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to all senators on Monday arguing that the White House produce documents linked to an alleged effort to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate President Trump's political rivals ahead of the Senate's impeachment trial.

The big picture: A batch of newly released emails showed that the Office of Management and Budget ordered the Pentagon to withhold military aid to Ukraine 91 minutes after President Trump's July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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."
— Excerpt from Schumer's letter

What he's saying:

  • "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," Schumer said in the letter.
  • He later told reporters Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was "hiding the truth" by blocking documents and witnesses for the Senate's impeachment trial, saying: "He's afraid of the truth."

Context: McConnell dismissed Schumer's (D-N.Y.) original request to have four White House witnesses testify in the Senate's impeachment trial on the grounds that it's the House's "duty to investigate," saying the Senate won't volunteer its time for a "fishing expedition."

Read the letter:

Go deeper ... Mitch McConnell on Trump impeachment: "Let's quit the charade"

Editor's note: This article has been updated with Schumer's comments on McConnell and the Senate majority leader's position on the issue.

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Trump impeachment trial: Schumer vows to "force votes" on witnesses

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks to reporters on Jan. 8 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed Sunday evening to "force votes on witnesses and documents" in the impeachment trial against President Trump that starts this week. And he questioned why Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was "being so secretive about his proposal."

What he's saying: "We Democrats aim to get the truth," Schumer said. "It will be up to four Republicans to side with the Constitution, to side with our democracy, to side with rule of law, and not side, in blind obeisance, to President Trump and his desire to suppress the truth. Because, in my judgment, he probably thinks he's guilty."

Go deeper:

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details and comments from the news conference.

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Pelosi confirms House will vote to send impeachment articles on Wednesday

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed in a statement Tuesday that the House will vote Wednesday on a resolution that would name impeachment managers and transmit the articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate.

Why it matters: The vote would end Pelosi's pressure campaign against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow additional documents and witnesses in the Senate's impeachment trial. McConnell said at a press conference that the trial will likely begin next Tuesday, with "housekeeping" measures like the swearing-in of senators taking place this week.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 14, 2020

Pelosi slams McConnell trial rules as "deliberately designed to hide the truth"

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) claimed in a statement Tuesday that the rules Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has proposed for President Trump's impeachment trial diverge from the Clinton precedent and show he has "chosen a cover-up" over a fair trial.

Context: McConnell made public an organizing resolution Monday laying out the terms for the trial, which include 24 hours over two days for each side to present their cases. It would block evidence discovered in the House impeachment investigation from being presented without a separate vote, and it would delay a vote on whether to subpoena witnesses and documents until later in the trial.

Go deeperArrowJan 21, 2020