Pelosi keeps open possibility of subpoenaing impeachment witnesses

Jan. 12 (UPI) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday did not rule out the possibility of subpoenaing witnesses for President Donald Trump‘s impeachment, depending on whether the Senate pursues testimony for its trial.

During an appearance on ABC News’ This Week, Pelosi, D-Calif., said that she will determine during a caucus meeting Tuesday whether to send articles of impeachment to the Senate as early as this week, adding she would not exclude the possibility of issuing fresh subpoenas for testimony from former Trump national security adviser John Bolton or other potential witnesses.

“It’s not excluded, but we’ll see what they do,” Pelosi said, referring to the Senate. “But we do think that there’s enough evidence to remove the president from office. But we’ve done our job. We’ve defended the constitution of the United States. We would hope that the Senate would do that as well.”

Pelosi also countered comments by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell that he will follow the precedent of former President Bill Clinton‘s impeachment trial by voting to admit witnesses and new evidence after the opening presentations.

“Those witnesses that eventually came were all deposed. The president has not allowed the witnesses to be deposed for the House or for the Senate yet,” she said. “So the evidence was there. It was just a question of bringing it more to the forefront.”

Pelosi added the House could also file new articles of impeachment based on the Senate’s actions.

“The ball will be in their court soon,” she said.

The House has waited three weeks to send the articles of the impeachment to the Senate and name impeachment managers.

Pelosi said the House has always intended to send the articles to the Senate, but the three-week delay has come with its own benefits including the release of unredacted emails and other information related to the case.

“What we did want, though and we think we accomplished in the past few weeks is that we wanted the public to see the need for witnesses, witnesses with firsthand knowledge of what happened, documentation which the president has prevented from coming to the Congress as we review this,” she said.

She also noted that Bolton announced he would testify if subpoenaed by the Senate during the period that the House withheld the documents, although Trump said he would invoke executive privilege to prevent him from testifying to protect the future of the presidency.

In response to criticism from Republicans, including Sen. Susan Collins, about the decision to impeach Trump before exhausting all legal options to obtain testimony and records from the Trump administration and officials, Pelosi said the court process would have taken too long and that the House and that she was proud of the courage of House members to vote to impeach.

“We have confidence in our case that it’s impeachable and this president is impeached for life, regardless of any gamesmanship on the part of Mitch McConnell,” she said.

Trump weighed in after the ABC interview, posting on Twitter: “Why should I have the stigma of Impeachment attached to my name when I did NOTHING wrong? Read the Transcripts! A totally partisan Hoax, never happened before. House Republicans voted 195-0, with three Dems voting with the Republicans. Very unfair to tens of millions of voters!”

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