The Department of Justice revealed in a court filing late Friday that it has two dozen emails related to the President Trump's involvement in the withholding of millions in security assistance to Ukraine — a disclosure that came just hours after the Senate voted against subpoenaing additional documents and witnesses in Trump's impeachment trial, paving the way for his acquittal.
The filing, released near midnight Friday, marks the first official acknowledgment from the Trump administration that emails about the President's thinking related to the aid exist, and that he was directly involved in asking about and deciding on the aid as early as June.
The administration is still blocking those emails from the public and has successfully kept them from Congress.
A lawyer with the Office of Management and Budget wrote to the court that 24 emails between June and September 2019 — including an internal discussion among DOD officials called "POTUS follow-up" on June 24 — should stay confidential because the emails describe "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."
Some context: Trump's decision to withhold nearly $400 million in US military aid to Ukraine as he pressed the country to investigate Hunter Biden and Joe Biden, his potential 2020 general election rival, are at the center of the President's impeachment trial.
Trump and his allies have repeatedly made unfounded and false claims to allege that the Bidens acted corruptly in Ukraine.