A bombshell report on behind-the-scenes chaos in the White House over Ukraine has renewed calls by Democratic senators for new witness testimony in the Senate impeachment trial.
The New York Times report implicated Mick Mulvaney and his aide Robert Blair in President Donald Trump's pressure scheme against Ukraine and showed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and former national security adviser John Bolton tried to push back against those efforts -- and Senate Democrats want answers, reported NBC News.
"This new story shows all four witnesses that we Senate Democrats have requested (were) intimately involved and had direct knowledge of President Trump's decision to cut off aid and benefit himself," said Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). "Simply put, in our fight to have key documents and witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial, these new revelations are a game changer."
Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff and director of the Office of Management and Budget, worked for nearly three months to carry out the president's order to withhold military aid from Ukraine, according to the Times report, and OMB lawyers developed the argument that Trump was authorized to override congressional approval as commander in chief.
Schumer demanded that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) call Mulvaney, Bolton, Blair and Michael Duffey, who oversees OMB's funding, as witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial after the White House blocked their testimony in the House impeachment inquiry.
"Let me be clear, this is about getting to the truth," Schumer said. "Will the Senate hold a fair trial or will it enable a cover-up? President Trump, if you are so confident you did nothing wrong, why won't you let your men testify?"
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Intelligence Committee chairman who led the House impeachment inquiry, agreed the Times report showed the clear need for additional witness testimony.
"Despite the President’s obstruction, additional damning evidence of his abuse of power continues to come to light," Schiff tweeted. "The question is whether the Senate will demand to see these and other emails and hear from those who were involved."