Donald Trump made a shocking statement on Wednesday while speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, when he appeared to brag that his team was holding back evidence from his impeachment trial.
Democratic Representative Val Demings of Florida tweeted on Wednesday that the second article of impeachment against the president was for obstruction of justice, expressing surprise that Trump appeared to brag that he was doing the same thing yet again. Demings included a link to the video showing Trump’s statement in her tweet. The Florida representative is one of the seven congressional impeachment managers overseeing the trial.
In the video, the president spoke about the impeachment trial, saying that he was pleased with the way it was being handled in the Senate, since the prosecutors don’t have access to all the evidence about the case. He went on to say they don’t have all the evidence because the White House is withholding it.
“So, we’re doing very well,” he said. “I thought our team did a very good job. Honestly, we have all the material. They don’t have the material.”
He then attacked Rep. Adam Schiff, the House Intelligence Chairman, who led the House impeachment process against the president.
“When we released that conversation, all hell broke out with the Democrats because they say, wait a minute, this is much different than shifty Schiff told us, so we’re doing very well. I got to watch enough, I thought our team did a very good job,” Trump said.
The House brought two articles of impeachment against Trump, one for abusing the power of his office and one for obstructing Congress. When reporters in Davos asked Trump about the impeachment, he repeated the line that he had a “perfect call” with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky, during which he asked the Eastern European president to investigate his chief political opponent Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden eight different times.
The second article of impeachment was for obstruction of Congress: covering up witnesses and documents from the American people.
This morning the President not only confessed to it, he bragged about it:
"Honestly, we have all the material. They don't have the material." pic.twitter.com/DPAEFHIDjS
— Rep. Val Demings (@RepValDemings) January 22, 2020
Since that call, the White House has refused to turn over documents that have been subpoenaed as part of the impeachment process, as well as directing individuals not to appear as witnesses in the trial.
But instead of citing executive privilege or national security concerns as he has in the past, Trump seemed to openly suggest that the White House was withholding evidence to bolster his case in the Senate.
During the same speech, Trump said that he wanted to have witnesses appear at the trial, but he wasn’t able to allow people to testify because it would present a national security problem and he needed to get back to the business of leading the country.
“Personally, I would rather go the long route. It’s horrible for our country. Our country has to get back to business,” he said.