On Wednesday night, Senators finally agreed to admit a classified document from an aide to Vice President Mike Pence into the impeachment trial following closed-door deliberations, according to The Hill. The one-page document that will be admitted relates to a phone call that took place between Pence and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a week before Zelensky met with Donald Trump at the United Nations.
Jennifer Williams, a national security aide to Pence, was one of the individuals who listened in on Trump’s controversial phone call with Ukraine’s leader. Then, after Williams submitted additional classified evidence in late November to House impeachment investigators about the July 25 phone call, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif) revealed in early December that the Vice President suddenly classified the document.
Schiff has been after the classified evidence and even penned a letter to Pence at the time to ask him to declassify supplemental testimony from his aide, who is a veteran Foreign Service officer, about Pence’s Sept. 18 phone call with Zelensky and argued that there is no “legitimate basis” to keep the call a secret.
House managers who function as prosecutors in Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, opened a can of whoop-ass on the White House over its refusal to declassify the evidence and urged senators on Wednesday to review its contents.
“I’ve read that testimony. I will just say that a cover-up is not a proper reason to classify a document,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.). “In case the White House needs a reminder, it’s improper to keep something classified just to avoid embarrassment or to conceal wrongdoing.”
Williams’ evidence will not be made public, according to the terms of the closed-door agreement that was announced late Wednesday by Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the trial.
This is a crack in what seemed like an impenetrable wall that Republicans constructed to protect their “president.” Williams described her alarm over Trump’s “perfect call” with Zelensky during her public testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in November.
Williams testified that Trump’s mention of specific investigations into political rivals was “unusual and inappropriate” and “shed some light on possible other motivations behind a security assistance hold.”
Williams seems to know something pertinent to the impeachment proceedings. Schiff previously indicated hat she recalled the relevant information about Pence’s phone call after her closed-door deposition on Nov. 7th and wanted to convey it to impeachment investigators. Williams submitted the supplemental filing a week after she testified publicly.
Featured image via Political Tribune gallery
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