Pelosi does not rule out possibility of subpoenaing testimony if Senate skips witnesses

"Let's just see what the Senate does," she said on ABC's "This Week."

January 12, 2020, 10:38 AM

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday did not rule out the possibility of a House subpoena for testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton and other witnesses sought by Democrats, depending on whether the Senate seeks testimony in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

"It's not excluded, but we'll see what they do," she told ABC Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on "This Week."

She also did not rule out the possibility of additional articles of impeachment against the president in the future.

"You said he's violating the Constitution again and again. Do you think it's possible that the House might have to file new articles of impeachment?" Stephanopoulos asked.

"Let's just see what the Senate does. The ball will be in their court soon," Pelosi replied.

The speaker announced on Friday that the House would vote on a resolution this week to name impeachment managers, a move that would trigger the delivery of impeachment articles to the Senate to begin the trial. She said Democrats would decide on a day to hold the vote in a closed-door caucus meeting on Tuesday morning.

Pelosi said she had no second thoughts about withholding the impeachment articles for several weeks in a fight with the GOP-led Senate over the rules of the Senate trial, and said the delay highlighted Democrats' worries about the potential process.

"The president is impeached for life, regardless of any gamesmanship on the part of Mitch McConnell," she said. "There is nothing the Senate can do to ever erase that."

She pushed back on claims from the Senate majority leader that he would follow the precedent of President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial on voting to admit witnesses and new evidence after the opening presentations.

"President Clinton allowed the witnesses to come forward. President Trump has not allowed that," she said in reference to the witnesses deposed in the Clinton trial, who all cooperated with the House impeachment inquiry and the independent counsel investigation. "The evidence was all there, it was just a question of bringing it to the forefront."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meets with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (not pictured) on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 8, 2020.
Tom Brenner/Reuters, FILE

The Trump administration directed a number of high-profile witnesses sought by House Democrats in the Ukraine impeachment probe from cooperating with the investigation and subpoenas for testimony and records.Republicans, including Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, have criticized Democrats for impeaching Trump before exhausting all legal options in seeking testimony and records from the Trump administration, along with current and former officials.

"Why not wait for the courts to rule?" Stephanopoulos asked.

"How long do the courts take?" Pelosi said. "We have confidence in our case."

Responding to the president's criticism of her speakership in a Fox News interview on Friday, Pelosi said "every knock from him is a boost," adding that "when he calls somebody crazy, he knows that he is."

She also expressed concern about Russian election interference in the 2020 presidential election, saying Trump was in "complete denial" about Russia's role in the 2016 election and efforts to meddle in the future.

"As I have said in terms of this president, all roads lead to Putin," she said. "He said he's not going to accept the assessment ... that they were very much involved in 2016 election, that 24/7 now they are still engaged. He's trying to blame it on Ukraine and this silliness that has been debunked again and again, but he and his folks still keep advancing it."

She also turned her ire on the Senate majority leader for supporting Trump in his approach to election security and Russian interference.

"And sometimes I wonder about Mitch McConnell, too," Pelosi added. "Why is he an accomplice to all of that?"

"It's all of a piece with them. And that's why it's really important for the facts to come forward, the witnesses to be heard, the documentation to be reviewed so that the American people can see, so that no other president in the future could ever think that it's okay to engage in the way that this president has," she said.

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