Schumer demands witnesses at impeachment trial, citing new email

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on December 23, 2019 - Duration: 02:06s

Schumer demands witnesses at impeachment trial, citing new email

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer cited a newly released email on the withholding of U.S. aid to Ukraine to press his case for testimony.

Chris Dignam has more.


Schumer demands witnesses at impeachment trial, citing new email

(SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER, SAYING: "What is a trial with no witnesses and no documents?

It's a sham trial." The top Democrat in the Senate on Sunday seized on a newly released email on the withholding of U.S. aid to Ukraine, saying it underscored the need for witnesses in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.

(SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER, SAYING: "Well, this new information is rather explosive." U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer held up a copy of the email, obtained by the Center for Public Integrity through a court order in a Freedom of Information Act case, which showed a senior White House budget official directing the Pentagon to withhold the aid after Trump concluded a July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

(SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER, SAYING: "Michael Duffey, a top Trump administration official, sent an email ordering that the military assistance be withheld and that that order be hush-hush, that no one know about it.

What were they hiding?" Democrats have been pushing to call top Trump aides to testify, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants the Senate to consider the case without hearing from new witnesses.

Meanwhile, Trump has said he will go along with whatever decision McConnell and other Senate Republican leaders make.

On Sunday, he railed against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi - who has postponed sending the impeachment charges to the Senate - saying in a tweet that she "wants to dictate terms on the Impeachment Hoax to the Republican Majority Senate" and that the Democrats' "case is dead." Removing Trump from office would require a two-thirds majority in the 100-member chamber, and there is little chance he will be convicted of the two impeachment charges approved by House Democrats through a trial in the Republican-controlled Senate.

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