Saturday, February 1, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He quietly acknowledged that Ukraine evidence exists, now that he doesn't have to turn it over.

On Friday afternoon, the Senate voted along party lines, 53-47, to shield Trump from having to turn over documents and evidence related to his attempts to force Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election. 

Overnight, Trump's Justice Department filed a motion in a civil case acknowledging that there were two dozen e-mails "that reflect 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," according to an administration lawyer.

The e-mails are apparently not classified. Trump is claiming "presidential privilege" to avoid having to release them under a Freedom of Information Act request.

Earlier, Trump openly bragged that he would be acquitted in the Senate because he'd managed to keep evidence hidden, saying, "We have all the material. They don’t have the material."

During the inquiry phase before Trump was impeached, Congress requested or subpoenaed far more than just those 24 e-mails, and there is certainly much more documentation about how and why Trump did what he did. In spite of his closest advisors' attempts to keep his actions secret—by, for example, hiding the unclassified, full transcript of the July 25 call to the Ukrainian president on an ultra-secure server—many government officials were alarmed by Trump's apparent attempt to strike a corrupt bargain, and communicated about it over government computer networks. That was how the original whistleblower learned of Trump's investigations-for-aid demands in the first place.

So what?

  • Innocent people do not conceal evidence of their innocence.