Looming decision on McGahn testimony could trigger new impeachment fight in House

FILE – In this Feb. 22, 2018, file photo former White House counsel Don McGahn speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), at National Harbor, Md. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

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UPDATED 3:25 PM PT — Friday, February 7, 2020

Democrats appear to be gearing up for a series of new legal battles against the White House. House lawmakers are waiting for guidance, which could be released as early as Friday, on the House Judiciary Committee’s ability to compel testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn.

Democrats said McGahn has information related to the Mueller report, which could result in new articles of impeachment against the president. If McGahn is allowed to testify, House Intel Chair Jerry Nadler may be able to subpoena John Bolton to testify as well.

President Trump reacted to the new impeachment push by saying he will fight again if he must.

“We will probably have to do it again because these people have gone stone-cold crazy, but I have beaten them all my life and I will beat them again if I have to,” said the president. “What they are doing is very unfair.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., announces the passage of the second article of impeachment, obstruction of Congress, against President Donald Trump by the House of Representatives at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019. (House Television via AP)

Meanwhile, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise said these “people need to be held accountable” for trying to take the president down. On Thursday, Scalise said those who abused their power ought to go to jail.

He added there are “some very crooked people, including some dirty cops, who are still out there.”

Scalise went on to discuss the ongoing DOJ investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation. He said he hopes the lead prosecutor on the case, John Durham, “names names.”

Original Article

Schumer panned Clinton impeachment testimony as ‘theater,’ now seeks 4 witnesses in Trump trial

closeSen. Chuck Schumer says the formal impeachment inquiry was not taken up for partisan reasonsVideo

Sen. Chuck Schumer says the formal impeachment inquiry was not taken up for partisan reasons

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says we are not at the stage where judgements in the impeachment inquiry can be made.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer has called for several current and former Trump administration officials to be subpoenaed to testify in the chamber's likely impeachment trial for President Trump.

Yet, during former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in 1999, Schumer, D-N.Y., roundly dismissed the importance of, and voted against, such witness testimony — suggesting it amounted to "political theater."


“It seems to me that no good case has been made for witnesses,” Schumer said during a press conference on Jan. 27, 1999.

Days later, he argued that there was no reason to call witnesses, saying: “I wonder if the House managers aren’t a little more interested in political theater than in actually getting to the bottom of the facts.”

As with virtually everybody involved in the Clinton-era impeachment on both sides of the aisle, the roles and talking points have reversed now that Trump is facing impeachment for his dealings with Ukraine. Republicans who cheered Clinton's impeachment have condemned Trump's. And Democrats like Schumer are sudden champions of the process.

On Sunday, the powerful New York Democrat penned a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., outlining the parameters for a weeks-long impeachment trial in the Senate, including proposed witnesses.

“In the trial of President Clinton, the House Managers were permitted to call witnesses, and it is clear that the Senate should hear testimony of witnesses in this trial as well,” Schumer said.


“I propose, pursuant to our rules, that the Chief Justice on behalf of the Senate issue subpoenas for testimony by the following witnesses with direct knowledge of Administration decisions regarding the delay in security assistance funds to the government of Ukraine and the requests for certain investigations to be announced by the government of Ukraine: Robert Blair, Senior Advisor to the Acting White House Chief of Staff; Mick Mulvaney, Acting White House Chief of Staff; John Bolton, former National Security Advisor; and Michael Duffey, Associate Director for National Security, Office of Management and Budget.”

Eric Shawn: President Trump's impeachment edgeVideo

He noted all four of those witnesses were asked to testify in the House impeachment inquiry but did not appear.

“We would of course be open to hearing the testimony of additional witnesses having direct knowledge of the Administration’s decisions regarding the delay in security assistance funds to the government of Ukraine and the requests for certain investigations to be announced by the government of Ukraine, if the President’s counsel or House Managers identify such witnesses,” he continued, adding that the witness testimony time should “be limited to not more than four hours” for House Managers and “not more than four hours for the President’s counsel.”

But Republicans in the Senate have signaled their interest in calling different witnesses — like Hunter Biden and former Democratic National Committee consultant Alexandra Chalupa, both of whom Republicans in the House tried to call only to be blocked by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.

At the center of the impeachment inquiry is Trump’s efforts to press Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch politically related investigations—regarding former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s dealings in Ukraine, as well as issues related to the 2016 presidential election. The president’s request came after millions in U.S. military aid to Ukraine had been frozen, which Democrats have argued shows a “quid pro quo” arrangement. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

The House Judiciary Committee on Friday voted to adopt two articles of impeachment against Trump, alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, on a party-line vote of 23-17. A final roll call in the full House is expected this week.


A massive impeachment report issued overnight by Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., stated: "This continued solicitation of foreign interference in a U.S. election, as well as President Trump’s other actions, present a clear and present danger that the President will continue to use the power of his office for his personal political gain."

Original Article