Demings: The Identity of Whistleblower Is Irrelevant

By Melanie Arter | February 3, 2020 | 2:41pm EST
(Photo by DOUG MILLS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by DOUG MILLS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

( – House impeachment manager Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) delivered her closing arguments Monday in the Senate impeachment trial, arguing that the identity of the whistleblower is irrelevant and that the House did not rely on the whistleblower’s complaint to impeach him President Donald Trump.

“The identity of the whistleblower moreover is irrelevant. The House did not rely on the whistleblower's complaint even as it turned out to be remarkably accurate. It does not matter who initially sounded the alarm when they saw smoke. What matters is that the firefighters – Congress - were summoned and found the blaze, and we know that we did,” she said.

Demings said that “to this day Ukraine still has not received all of the money Congress has appropriated, and the White House meeting has yet to be scheduled.”

The congresswoman said that the House managers have proven their case when it comes to abuse of power as outlined in Article 1 of the impeachment articles.

“The facts about the president's misconduct are not seriously in dispute as several Republican senators have acknowledged publicly. We have proved that the president abused his power in precisely the manner charged in Article 1. President Trump withheld a White House meeting and essential congressionally appropriated military assistance from Ukraine in order to pressure Ukraine to interfere in the upcoming presidential election on his behalf,” she said.

Demings said that Trump was not focused on fighting corruption in Ukraine as he’s said, but was trying to pressure Ukraine’s president to act corruptly by announcing “these baseless investigations.”

“The evidence makes clear that the president's decision to withhold Ukraine's military aid is not connected in any way to purported concerns about corruption or burden sharing. Rather, the evidence was presented -- that was presented to you is damning, chilling, and disgraceful,” she said. 

Demings said that Trump tried to obstruct Congress by hiding every document and witness, which shows he’s guilty.

“The president's obstruction was unlawful and unprecedented, but it also confirmed his guilt. Innocent people don't try to hide every document and witness especially those that would clear them. That's what guilty people do. That's what guilty people do. Innocent people do everything they can to clear their name and provide evidence that shows that they are innocent,” she said, adding that “it would be a mistake to view the president’s obstruction narrowly as the president's counsel have tried to portray it.”


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