Trump’s impeachment trial began on Tuesday, and Republicans spent much of the day blocking many of Democrats’ efforts to require the Trump administration to hand over documents.
Republicans rejected an opening effort by Democrats to compel the Trump administration to hand over documents related to the delayed Ukraine aid.
According to MSN News:
‘Democrats offered three amendments over roughly six hours to the rules resolution that would have required the administration to turn over documents. All three were tabled, effectively blocking the requests, in consecutive 53-47 votes.
According to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the documents would specifically relate to conversations and documents between Mr. Trump, top administration officials, and the Ukraine on delayed funding. This information eventually released in September.
‘The documents are of equal importance. People should understand that the documents can shed as much light on why the aid was cut off, who did it and how it evolved as the witnesses. We feel very strongly that we need documents, and that’s why it’s our first call.’
Specifically, the first amendment requested documents from the White House related to the Ukraine aid from after January 1, 2019. This included calls between Mr. Trump and the Ukrainian government and any communications between White House staff about trying to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
‘The second amendment focused on State Department documents, including communications about the decision to hold the Ukraine aid and documents related to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, former charge d’affaires in Ukraine William Taylor and Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland.’
In addition, Democrats requested copies of communications with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who has been trying to investigate the Bidens.
According to MSN:
‘The third amendment, meanwhile, required the administration to hand over communications from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), including communications involving Michael Duffey, the associate director of national security at OMB.’
It was reported earlier this month at Duffey told the acting Pentagon comptroller in emails that there was “Clear direction from POTUS to hold” the Ukraine aid.
House impeachment managers had urged senators to back the request for documents arguing that the public “deserves the full truth.”
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) said:
‘The documents will also show us how key players inside the White House, such as the president’s acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, his deputy Robert Blair and former national security adviser John Bolton helped set up the deal by executing the freeze on all military aid and withholding a promised visit to the White House.’
She went on to say:
‘The documents include records of the people who may have objected to this scheme, such as Ambassador Bolton. This is an important impeachment case against the president.‘
Schumer told reporters to “wait and see” in relation to what votes Democrats will force or how many, saying they do not want to be “dilatory.”
On Tuesday before the vote, McConnell said:
‘The organizing resolution already has the support of the majority of the Senate. That’s because it sets up a structure that is fair, evenhanded and tracks closely with the past precedents that were established unanimously.’