New unredacted emails reportedly reveal Trump knew he was breaking the law when he withheld congressionally approved military aid from Ukraine.
MSNBC reports that Just Security, a national security website affiliated with the New York University School of Law, reported Thursday (Jan. 2) on unredacted copies of emails that show Trump not only ignored his team’s advice, but also the Pentagon’s concerns about legal limits when he suspended hundreds of millions in military aid to Ukraine.
“The newly-revealed unredacted emails are a devastating blow to Senator McConnell’s push to have a trial without the documents and witnesses we’ve requested,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement in reference to his Republican counterpart, MSNBC reports. “These emails further expose the serious concerns raised by Trump administration officials about the propriety and legality of the president’s decision to cut off aid to Ukraine to benefit himself.”
MSNBC reports Schumer added, “This new evidence also raises questions that can only be answered by having the key Trump administration officials – Mick Mulvaney, John Bolton, Michael Duffey and Robert Blair – testify under oath in a Senate trial. Importantly, that Mr. Duffey said there was ‘clear direction from POTUS to continue to hold’ only further implicates President Trump and underscores the need for the Senate to subpoena the witnesses and documents we’ve requested at the onset of a trial.”
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who led the impeachment inquiry, echoed Schumer’s disdain and, in a separate statement, said “As part of our impeachment inquiry, the House subpoenaed these very documents. From their deeply incriminating character, we can now see why they were concealed: They directly corroborate witnesses who testified that military aid to Ukraine was withheld at the direction of the president and that the White House was informed that doing so may violate the law. The Administration did not want Congress to find out why,” MSNBC reports.
Schiff added, MSNBC reports, “The disclosure of these incriminating documents reinforces the need for all of these materials to be produced, and that a fair trial in the Senate cannot take place without them. If they are not produced, the Senate and the American people must ask, what else is the president hiding?”
The Associated Press reports, the impeachment investigation has revealed Trump hoped to use the cutoff of funding as leverage to get Ukraine to open politically motivated investigations on his rivals.
On Aug. 30, Michael Duffey, associate director of national security programs at the Office of Management and Budget, wrote, “Clear direction from POTUS to continue to hold,” the Associated Press reports.