Leading House Democrats said ahead of the formal start of President Trump’s impeachment trial they will summon new witnesses before their committees if the Senate refuses to do so.
On Sunday, The Hill reported, House Democrats left open the possibility of calling new witnesses to testify about allegations that are ostensibly related to the Senate impeachment trial.
One of them could be Lev Parnas, a business associate of Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer who said Monday that he was duped by him.
Parnas has been indicted on federal campaign finance violations.
Meanwhile, even before the trial was set to begin, House Democrats announced that their impeachment inquiries would be continuing, despite the fact that two articles have already been transmitted to the Senate. That raised the prospect that the House could return new articles of impeachment in the coming months.
House Democrats have all said the are continuing with their impeachment inquiries – even after the House handed over the articles of impeachment to the Senate last week – raising the prospect of them introducing new articles of impeachment.
“We would be remiss in the House of Representatives not to follow this trail to its conclusion. And Parnas has emerged as an important figure in this criminal conspiracy to force or coerce a foreign government to help Trump’s reelection campaign,” Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), said this week, The Hill reported.
“They have their eye on it,” Johnson added, referring to committee leaders open to witnesses testifying in the House if they are unable to do so in the Senate.
Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, one of three House panels that pursued the impeachment inquiry, pledged that Democrats would move ahead with their impeachment investigation “if we’re feeling that we’re being played and that they’re not being forthcoming with the truth.”
“We’re not going to just say, ‘OK, we’ve disposed of it and now the ball’s in their court and there’s nothing left for us to do.’ I think quite the contrary,” Engel said.
“The more we hear, and the more things come out, the more resolute we are to make sure that we’re dealing with the truth, and that it’s not being swept under the rug.”
Republicans counter that Democrats are simply posturing and turning the process into a political campaign issue for 2020.
They also say that House Democrats are using endless impeachment investigations to keep the president off-balance and thwart his legislative and policy agendas.