Over the weekend, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said it would be “good for the country” if the president could share more information about his interactions with Ukraine. Senator Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, was harsher.
“If the president asked or pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his political rival, either directly or through his personal attorney, it would be troubling in the extreme,” he said.
Despite Mr. Schumer’s demands, most attention on Monday remained on the House, where Democrats hold the majority and the power to impeach Mr. Trump, and are already pursuing an investigation to determine whether they should do so over his attempts to obstruct the special counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. A crucial element of any potential case against the president, lawmakers have said, would be his stonewalling of congressional attempts to investigate him and his administration.
After months of debate over impeachment, the political ground appeared to be shifting over the weekend for Democrats, with growing numbers of influential lawmakers saying that if the allegations were true, and the president continued to try to shield information from Congress, they would be left with no option but to initiate impeachment proceedings.
In the short-term, even the House has relatively few options if the administration maintains its position.
The House Intelligence Committee, which first learned of and publicized the existence of the whistle-blower complaint, has called a hearing for Thursday to press Mr. Maguire on why he declined to share it with Congress, despite a request to do so from the intelligence agencies’ internal watchdog. But Mr. Maguire has been instructed by the Justice Department and the White House not to produce the material.
The House could sue to try to force disclosure under its interpretation of the whistle-blower law, but as with other legal challenges to the White House’s stonewalling, the courts could take more than a year to sort the case out, a nonstarter for Democrats who fear there may be an ongoing threat to national security.