Schumer seized Thursday on a new report that cited unredacted emails that bolster the case that Trump was directly involved in withholding military aid to Ukraine as he was seeking investigations that could benefit him politically.
The report by Kate Brannen, published by Just Security, referenced an email from Michael Duffey, associate director of national security programs at the Office of Management and Budget, to Elaine McCusker, the acting Pentagon comptroller, on Aug. 30, a little more than a month after Trump pressed Zelensky for investigations during a phone call.
In the email, which followed a meeting with Trump that included senior administration officials, Duffey told McCusker, “Clear direction from POTUS to hold.”
A redacted version of that email — and several others cited in the report by Brannen, a veteran Pentagon reporter — had previously been made public as the result of Freedom of Information Act litigation.
“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,” Schumer said in a statement Thursday. “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.”
Schumer has sought guarantees from McConnell that several administration officials will be subpoenaed to testify in a Senate trial who declined to participate in House impeachment proceedings, including Duffey. McConnell has said the Senate should decide on what if any witnesses to call after hearing opening statements from House impeachment managers and Trump’s lawyers.
Schumer said the unredacted emails raise “questions that can only be answered by having the key Trump administration officials ... testify under oath in a Senate trial.”
“The American people deserve a fair trial that gets to the truth, not a rigged process that enables a cover-up,” Schumer said.