Pelosi calls for witnesses at Trump trial after new evidence

Pat Cipollone

Trump was impeached in December by the Democrat-controlled House on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Parnas has also provided investigators with documents, recordings, photos, text messages on WhatsApp, an encrypted messaging platform, and materials from a Samsung phone, according to Bondy.

"This is about the Constitution of the United States, Pelosi said". And there are the letters and statements from administration officials declaring that they would not cooperate with the impeachment inquiry because they consider it improper.

The proceedings came after a whistleblower's account of Trump's July 25 call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky was made public. Schiff will serve as lead manager.

Pelosi also tapped House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries of NY, and Reps.

Schiff said the new evidence should bring more pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is reluctant to allow witnesses to testify. He prefers to model Trump's trial partly on the process used for then-President Bill Clinton's trial in 1999.

Sen. Mike Braun of IN said that while Trump has gone back and forth on the idea of a dismissal, he believes Trump wants a full trial so that he can claim victory when he is likely acquitted. "This has been naked partisanship all along".

House Democrats are expected to vote on sending the articles of impeachment from the House to the Senate, where Trump will be tried.

While "House democrats may have descended into pure factionalism", the Senate was designed by the founding fathers "to stabilize our institutions, to break partisan fevers, to stop short-term passions from destroying our long-term future", McConnell added.

Trump's hearing will be only the third presidential impeachment trial in USA history, coming against the backdrop of a politically divided nation and an election year.

"Do these sound like leaders who really believe we are in a constitutional crisis, one that requires the ultimate remedy?" She also selected veteran lawmakers New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Florida Rep. Val Demings and California Rep. Zoe Lofgren and two freshmen Representatives: Texas Rep. Sylvia Garcia and Colorado Rep. Jason Crow, who serves in a vulnerable swing district.

Earlier, Pelosi named seven Democrats to present the case in the landmark Senate trial. McConnell asked. He rejected Pelosi's recent suggestions that whatever the Senate verdict, Trump will be "impeached forever". "The evidence is overwhelming", he said. Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski - that while they want a guaranteed vote on witnesses at some point in the trial, they don't know yet if witnesses are even necessary.

Former national security adviser John Bolton has agreed to testify if subpoenaed, and some Republicans have been meeting privately to guarantee that witnesses can be called.

The California Democrats has requested McConnell provide her with the planned rules for the trial before she hands over the impeachment articles, but the Majority leader would not comply with that request, claiming Pelosi would not dictate the Senate trial. Some Senate Republicans who've expressed misgivings about Trump seeking a Ukrainian investigation into Biden (a former senator who's well liked in that chamber) have also suggested that, as presidential offenses go, Trump's wasn't that serious.

It takes just 51 votes during the impeachment trial to approve rules or call witnesses. Just four Republican senators could form a majority with Democrats to insist on new testimony.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar: If Republicans don't allow witnesses in Pres. Trump's impeachment trial, they might as well give him a crown and scepter and "make him king".

His sentiments echo comments from GOP Sens. 'It's important to have a vote on whether we have witnesses or not'.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi holds a news conference at the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, on January 14, 2020.