Evidence directly implicating President Donald Trump in a scheme to bribe Ukraine into investigating his domestic political opponents continues to pile up, although Republican Senators don’t seem to care, considering just this Friday, they voted to block any further witness testimony or evidence from his impeachment trial. Hours after that vote, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) revealed that it has at least two dozen emails depicting the president’s apparent personal involvement in withholding military aid for Ukraine while, separately, he and his allies were trying to get them to investigate the Bidens.
The emails stretch across the period from June to September of 2019, according to the court filing, which the Department of Justice issued as part of ongoing litigation brought by the Center for Public Integrity, which successfully demanded the release of material related to the aid delay under the Freedom of Information Act. The Trump team, which was required to give a detailed accounting of anything it was still refusing to hand over, argued that the two dozen emails should be kept private because they include and/or reference “communications by either the President, the Vice President, or the President’s immediate advisors regarding Presidential decision-making about the scope, duration, and purpose of the hold on military assistance to Ukraine.” That’s pretty direct!
Yet, Republican Senators don’t seem to care. Their arguments for their anti-witnesses votes varied somewhat — Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski insisted that witnesses would do nothing to make the trial actually fair, while Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander claimed that no witness would change his conclusion that the president acted inappropriately but not out of line enough to warrant impeachment. No matter the differences, they united on refusing to take the basic step of seeking to hold the president accountable.
Alexander helped kickstart the talking point to let the voters decide Trump’s fate from here, but lo and behold, polls show that overwhelming majorities of Americans wanted to see witnesses as part of the impeachment trial. That even includes majorities or near-majorities of Republicans.
The GOP obstruction goes well on from this point. CNN notes that in their original impeachment report, House investigators noted that they’d actually been tipped off to the material that’s at the heart of the new Trump administration revelations. A selection from that report reveals:
‘The Committees also have good-faith reason to believe that the Office of Management and Budget is in possession of and continues to withhold significantly more documents and records responsive to the subpoena and of direct relevance to the impeachment inquiry.’
The House impeached Trump on charges including abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Now, the Senate has set the final vote in Trump’s impeachment trial for Wednesday, when — unless the entire GOP suddenly finds a basic moral compass — he will be acquitted. No impeached president in the history of the United States has ever actually been convicted and removed from office — meanwhile, this latest target is running so free thanks to GOP enablers that this weekend, he claimed that he’s “America’s greatest president.” Talk about ridiculous.