Chuck Schumer said he is worried that Donald Trump could decide to shut down the federal government in order to take attention away from his impeachment proceedings.
The Senate minority leader warned this week that the president may use the November 21 deadline to keep the government working as a way to distract from the fast-moving impeachment inquiry. As CNBC reported, Schumer believes there could be a repeat from the end of 2018, when Trump engineered a government shutdown after the then-Republican-led Congress did not authorize funding for his border wall. The shutdown lasted for 35 days, the longest in American history, and came to an end when Trump re-opened the government and instead declared a state of emergency in order to reallocate funding to build the wall.
Schumer said he believes that Republicans and Democrats in Congress would be able to come to an agreement on funding to keep the federal government opens. He added, however, that he is worried Trump could blow up the deal.
“I believe left to our own devices Congress could work out an agreement to quickly fund the government,” Schumer said. “But I’m increasingly worried that President Trump may want to shut down the government again because of impeachment, an impeachment inquiry. He always wants to create diversions.”
Trump is facing an impeachment inquiry on allegations that he pressured Ukraine into launching a probe into his political opponent, Joe Biden. Democrats have held a series of closed-door depositions of those with knowledge of the president’s alleged attempts to pressure Ukraine, and have said that they could soon be making the case to the American public through a series of televised hearings.
As NBC News reported, Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman testified on Tuesday that the White House edited some key details out of the official record of a call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, said that he tried to edit the details of the call into the transcript but they were taken out.
Aside from allegations that he pressured the Ukrainian president, Donald Trump also faced allegations of trying to keep the details of the call a secret by keeping the notes in a secure server normally used to keep the most sensitive information. Critics say this was an attempt to keep others from seeing the improper actions Trump took to pressure Ukraine into digging up dirt on Biden.