Schumer Accuses White House of 'Cover Up,' Says Bolton Has 'Evidence' After NYT Links Ukraine Funds to Biden Probe

Senator Chuck Schumer on Sunday afternoon accused the White House of a massive "cover up" after The New York Times reported that John Bolton confirmed President Donald Trump tied Ukraine funding to a possible probe into the family of former Vice President Joe Biden.

In drafts of Bolton's upcoming book, the former national security adviser claims Trump told him in August that he wanted to continue withholding $391 million in military assistance to Ukraine until its officials opened an investigation into his Democratic rivals, according to the New York Times on Sunday.

Hours later, Schumer called the allegation "a massive White House cover-up" in a series of tweets, where he also said "Bolton has the evidence" to prove it.

"John Bolton has the evidence," the top Democrat tweeted. "It's up to four Senate Republicans to ensure that John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney, and the others with direct knowledge of President Trump's actions testify in the Senate trial."

"The @NYTimes report suggests multiple top Trump Admin officials knew the facts and deliberately misled Congress and the American people," Schumer added. "A massive White House cover-up. All we need is four Republican Senators to get the truth."

Bolton's reported account of his exchange with Trump challenges arguments made by the president's legal team in the Senate impeachment trial. Trump's lawyers on Saturday said there was no evidence to suggest the president's withholding of Ukraine's military aid was related to his pursuit of a probe into the Bidens.

It also highlights the importance of witnesses in the proceedings as Republicans and Democrats gear up to determine this week whether to allow sworn testimony from Bolton and others. Bolton has indicated to lawmakers that he will testify if needed, despite Trump's order banning his former and current aides from cooperating in the investigation, which he has repeatedly dismissed as a "witch hunt."

Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Democrats need four—any four—Republicans to vote with them to subpoena witnesses for Trump's Senate impeachment trial. Senate Republicans continued to defend Trump on Sunday while criticizing their Democratic colleagues' calls for witnesses to appear in the trial.

In an interview on Fox News' Sunday Morning Futures With Maria Bartiromo, Senator Lindsey Graham claimed that witnesses would further bring chaos to the proceedings. "What do we do?" he said. "Delay the trial so the president can go to court? Or do we as the Senate destroy the president's ability to go to court—a bad spot to be in in the Senate ... If we seek witnesses, then we're going to throw the country into chaos."

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U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) speaks during a press conference to discuss what he believes is needed to ensure a fair senate impeachment trial on December 23, 2019 in New York City. David Dee Delgado/Getty