The House of Representatives was forced to impeach Donald Trump for committing high crimes after a mountain of undisputed evidence showed that he withheld military aid in order to pressure Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election on his behalf.
Now it’s time for the Senate to act.
And new evidence from over the holiday makes it even clearer why Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican senators must not be allowed to hold a sham trial that covers up Trump’s crimes and ignores key witnesses and documents.
New reports show that senior Trump administration officials are important witnesses that have direct knowledge of the bribery plot:
- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper held a previously unknown meeting with Trump in late August discussing the aid being withheld from Ukraine.
- New emails show White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney was directly involved in holding up the aid itself.
Furthermore, new previously undisclosed emails show that the White House ordered military aid to be withheld from Ukraine only 91 minutes after Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Zelensky where he asked for a “favor though.” This is more proof that his request was linked to the release of military aid.
Like the House, the Senate must send the clear signal that no one is above the law—not even the president of the United States.
Unfortunately, the White House and Senate Republicans—who are supposed to be impartial jurors—are already working to rig the trial to acquit Donald Trump.
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’s in “total coordination” with and “taking [his] cues” from the White House.
- Both McConnell and Senator Lindsey Graham said they don’t consider themselves impartial jurors.
- McConnell won’t even commit to allowing direct witnesses like Mulvaney and Bolton to testify—even though they were in direct communication with Trump about the aid.
McConnell’s actions have brought the condemnation of key Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins.
- Murkowski said she is “disturbed by the Senate majority leader’s promise of ‘total coordination’ with the White House on impeachment proceedings against President Trump.”
- Collins criticized McConnell for appearing to “prejudge the evidence” and said she’s “open to witnesses” in the trial.
Speaker Pelosi is right to wait to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate until there is a better understanding of their process.
The charges against Trump are serious: his actions constitute an abuse of power, criminal bribery, and obstruction of Congress.
There must be a fair trial in the United States Senate so we can actually hear all the evidence, including key testimony from direct witnesses.
Originally posted on ImpeachmentHQ. Re-posted with permission.
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