The Department of Justice (DOJ) reportedly said in a court filing just hours after the Senate voted against subpoenaing additional witnesses and documents in President TrumpDonald John TrumpCoronavirus death toll rises to 304 in China Michael Moore: Clinton comments about Sanders ‘divisive,’ ‘cruel’ and ‘a lie’ Palestinian Authority cuts security ties with US, Israel following Trump peace plan announcement MORE‘s impeachment trial that it has two dozen emails related to his involvement in the halt of U.S. military aid to Ukraine.
An Office of Management and Budget (OMB) lawyer said in the filing that the emails are protected by “presidential privilege,” The Washington Post reports.
“Specifically, the documents in this category are emails that reflect communications by either the President, the Vice President, or the President’s immediate advisors regarding Presidential decision-making about the scope, duration, and purpose of the hold on military assistance to Ukraine,” the OMB lawyer said in arguing that the emails should stay redacted.
The Center for Public Integrity received a heavily redacted version of the emails in December through a Freedom of Information Act request, according to the Post, which added that the judge in the case wanted an outline of what information is in the emails and why they were redacted.
CNN notes that the filing is the administration’s first acknowledgement that there are emails related to Trump’s possible thinking about the aid freeze, which is central to Democrats’ impeachment effort.
Democrats’ hopes of obtaining the documents were dashed on Friday, however, when senators voted not to seek witnesses and the documentation in a 51 to 49 vote.