The Senate on Tuesday opened the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, as NBC News reported, by voting 53-47 on nine rules amendments proposed by Democrats aimed at admitting new evidence and witnesses — material now reportedly blocked by Trump’s White House.
On Wednesday, Trump appeared to make an admission that he was withholding crucial evidence from the impeachment trial, as he had also reportedly blocked evidence from the earlier impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives.
“We’re doing very well,” Trump said, speaking to the media at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “Honestly, we have all the material. They don’t have the material.”
Now, a former federal prosecutor says that Trump’s seemingly offhand remark at Davos should count as a confession — specifically to the offense of obstruction of Congress, which is the charge against Trump in the second of the two articles of impeachment.
Glenn Kirschner, who also now serves as an on-air legal analyst for MSNBC, said that Trump’s statement was an “admission of guilt to the second article,” in a statement posted to his own Twitter account.
Kirschner, whose career as a prosecutor in the District of Columbia United States Attorney’s Office from 1994 to 2018, also called Trump’s statement at Davos “circumstantial evidence of criminal intent.”
Florida Rep. Val Demings, who currently serves as one of the seven House impeachment managers, posted video of Trump’s comments to her own Twitter account, also saying that by making the statement, Trump “confessed” two carrying out a cover-up.
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
The exclusion of any new evidence has already played a key role in the impeachment trial, as even after two days of presentations by the House managers, led by California Democrat Adam Schiff, Republican senators continue to complain that they have heard no new evidence, as the news analysis site Vox reported.
“So far what [Schiff] has said we’ve heard before,” Indiana Republican Mike Braun said on Thursday, as quoted by Vox.
His claim to have found no new evidence in the House managers’ presentations was echoed by several other Republicans, including Rick Scott of Florida who called the managers’ presentation “boring.”
“I didn’t hear anything new today. We’ll see,” Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey said, as quoted by Vox.
“The same Republicans saying they heard nothing new just voted nine times to hear nothing new,” Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said, responding to the Republican complaints.
Schumer’s point was echoed by California Democrat, and former presidential candidate, Kamala Harris, who wrote on her Twitter account, per Vox, that Senate Republicans “can’t have it both ways.”