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Trump says Schiff, Pelosi should be witnesses in impeachment trial
In a tweet on Sunday, President Donald Trump said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) should both testify at his Senate impeachment trial, The Washington Times reported.
“Why did Nervous Nancy allow corrupt politician Shifty Schiff to lie before Congress?” Trump wrote. “He must be a Witness, and so should she!”
The president was making reference to Schiff’s so-called “parody” of the now-infamous July phone conversation between Trump Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky that Democrats used as a vehicle to move forward on impeachment, according to Newsweek.
The Pelosi-led House passed two articles of impeachment against Trump in Dec. 18 in a party-line vote, according to the Wall Street Journal, after which the speaker refused to send the articles on to the Senate for trial.
First, Pelosi claimed that she simply wanted assurances that the Senate trial would be “fair” — which is a little much to take considering that the entire House impeachment inquiry process was anything but.
Then, when questioned further about how long she intended to withhold the articles, the House speaker declared she would send them “when I’m ready,” according to NBC News.
Trump: “Hoax” should not proceed
Trump tweeted earlier on Sunday that he agreed with Rudy Giuliani and Judge Jeanine Pirro, both of whom said that holding a Senate impeachment trial at all gives unwarranted credence to a process that does not warrant it.
Instead, they advocate dismissing the articles immediately without holding a trial to send the message that the impeachment has been purely partisan and illegitimate.
Great idea. This phony Impeachment Hoax should not even be allowed to proceed. Did NOTHING wrong. Just a partisan vote. Zero Republicans. Never happened before! https://t.co/47oV6z4RQc
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2020
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said he does plan to hold a trial, but that it will likely be brief and may not involve calling any further witnesses. Senate Democrats, however, are not pleased with that prospect and continue to demand additional testimony and documents at trial, arguing that without witnesses, the process would amount to a “cover-up.”
To the Senate
One unintended consequence of dismissing impeachment articles rather than going through the process and formally acquitting Trump is the possibility that the dismissed articles would be eligible to be raised again if new evidence in support of them is discovered.
An acquittal, however, would prevent House Democrats from bringing up the same articles again and again and would thus be preferable to the symbolic message a dismissal would send.
In any case, Pelosi has reached the limit of her influence, and the Senate will have its turn this week to send the articles into the void where they belong.
It has been gratifying indeed to watch the underhanded efforts of Pelosi, Schiff, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and others backfire on them so spectacularly and cost them dearly in the court of public opinion and — hopefully — at the ballot box in November.
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