In a win for House Democrats, Senators agreed to admit a classified document from Pence aide Jennifer Williams into the impeachment trial after closed-door deliberations.
Williams testified on day 3 of the House impeachment trial.
She testified that she found the call between Trump and Volodymyr Zelensky “unusual” because she viewed it as “political in nature.”
Jennifer Williams Testimony
TheHill reports Senators on Wednesday night agreed to admit a classified document from an aide to Vice President Pence into the impeachment trial following closed-door deliberations.
The one-page document relates to a phone call that took place between Pence and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a week before Zelensky met with President Trump last fall at the United Nations.
This latest development is a win for House Democrats who have unsuccessfully pressed the White House to declassify the document, which Pence aide Jennifer Williams submitted to the House in late November to supplement her public testimony earlier that month.
House managers who function as prosecutors in Trump’s Senate trial continued to criticize the White House’s 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.), one of the managers. “In case the White House needs a reminder, it’s improper to keep something classified just to avoid embarrassment or to conceal wrongdoing.”
Williams’s evidence may be accessed by senators in a classified setting but will not be made public, according to the terms of the closed-door agreement announced late Wednesday by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the trial.
A number of Senate Democrats on Thursday morning were seen at the Capitol building entering a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, or SCIF, to review the document. They included Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), who is running for president.
Emerging from the SCIF, Blumenthal called for the Williams document to be declassified.
“There’s no reason that it should be kept classified. It should be made public, regardless of which side it helps. The American people should judge,” Blumenthal, a former Connecticut attorney general, told reporters.
“And all those other documents, notes of conversations, that have been the topic of testimony –– internal communications, memoranda, messages –– all of them should be made available.”