Statement of Lisa Gilbert, Vice President of Legislative Affairs, Public Citizen
Note: A new report from the government’s independent nonpartisan watchdog, Government Accountability Office (GAO), said that the Trump administration violated the law when it withheld congressionally approved Ukraine security aid. This news comes on the day impeachment articles move officially to the U.S. Senate, and Chief Justice John Roberts swears in the senators for President Donald Trump’s trial.
From the very beginning, the Trump administration has maintained that the delay in approved funding for Ukraine was a simple procedural mix-up resulting from bureaucracy. Today’s GAO report is a significant and damning rebuke of that White House lie, and shows a clear crime committed by the White House.
In light of the GAO’s new report and the tangible evidence received this week from Rudy Giuliani-connected associate Lev Parnas, the need for witnesses and evidentiary documents during Trump’s impeachment trial is glaringly obvious. It is the responsibility of the Senate to provide a fair and honest trial so that we all hear the truth. It’s an easy call to make – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his caucus must allow a trial with relevant information provided. Otherwise, Americans will be forced to ask, what are they hiding for the president?