The White House is reportedly worried that House Democrats will continue to dig up damaging information on Trump after the impeachment trial
White House officials are concerned that House Democrats will continue investigations into President Donald Trump even after the impeachment trial into Trump concludes, Politico reported on Saturday. Trump is currently facing trial on two articles of impeachment alleging abuse of office and obstructing Congress over a campaign to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate his political rivals. Since Trump was impeached by the House on December 18, a steady stream of new, incriminating information about the Ukraine scandal has continued to come to light. Even though Trump is likely to be acquitted, Republicans expect House Democrats to continue investigating Trump, and they worry it could jeopardize the president's re-election prospects. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
White House officials are concerned that House Democrats will continue investigations into President Donald Trump even after the ongoing impeachment trial into Trump concludes, Politico reported on Saturday. On Saturday, members of Trump's legal team presented opening arguments for his defense in the ongoing Senate impeachment trial after three marathon days of arguments from the House impeachment managers prosecuting the case against Trump. When Democrats took back control of the House in the fall of 2018, the Judiciary, Intelligence, and Oversight Committees immediately opened multiple investigations and oversight probes into Trump's administration than eventually transformed into the House's impeachment inquiry into Trump last fall. Trump is currently facing trial on two articles of impeachment alleging abuse of his office and obstructing Congress. But officials are concerned that even if the Senate acquits Trump, House Democrats won't relent their investigations of his administration and specifically the Ukraine scandal. Trump is accused of abusing his power by dispatching his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and other administration officials to withhold a congressionally appropriated $391 million military aid package from Ukraine for his own personal gain. Based on documents, text message logs, and the sworn testimony of dozens of officials, the impeachment articles charge that Trump and his team leveraged the aid, in addition to the promise of a White House meeting, to pressure Ukraine's president to announce investigations into Trump's political rival Joe Biden and a discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election. For Trump to be removed from office, two-thirds of the US Senate — 67 members — must vote to convict him of the articles of impeachment. Currently, the Senate consists of 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats, and two independents who caucus with Democrats, meaning he is highly unlikely to be removed from office. But even though Trump is likely to be acquitted in the Senate, officials close to the president told Politico they don't expect the flow of new information surrounding the conduct of Trump and allies around the Ukraine issue to end there — and they worry it could jeopardize the president's re-election prospects. "No one in this building believes House Democrats are done with impeachment," one White House official told Politico on condition of anonymity. "I wouldn't be surprised if they launched a dozen more sham investigations between now and Election Day." Since Trump was impeached by the House on December 18, a steady stream of new, incriminating information about the Ukraine scandal has continued to come to light. On December 31, the national security publication Just Security got ahold of a trove of previously redacted emailed showing that officials at the Office of Management and Budget repeatedly ignored warnings from the Department of Defense that placing a hold on the military-aid package to Ukraine violated the law. Next, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office published a report January 16 finding that the Ukraine aid freeze did, in fact, break federal law by violating the Impoundment Control Act, which stipulates that congressionally appropriated funds must be spent within a given window. And more recently, the Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, who played a role in the Ukraine scandal himself, has continued to make a series of explosive claims, some backed up with photographic, video, and audio evidence. On Saturday, Parnas' attorney released audio and video of Trump ordering aides to "get rid" of former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who was suddenly recalled from her post in the spring of 2019 for standing in the way of Giuliani and One Republican Senate aide told Politico they believed "Democrats are going to keep releasing to their media friends supposedly 'new' info to demand more investigation and witnesses anytime the trial is nearly over." Read more: Day 1 of the Trump defense team's opening arguments in his impeachment trial was a masterclass in disinformation 'Take her out': New recording appears to feature an angry Trump telling associates to 'get rid of' the US's ambassador to Ukraine after he was told she bad-mouthed him A new collection of personal photos show Giuliani's 'fixer' Lev Parnas with Trump's inner circle, despite claims they don't know each otherSEE ALSO: 64 photos show the key moments of Trump's impeachment so far Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A law professor weighs in on how Trump could beat impeachment
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The hollowness of the president’s acquittal after impeachment may be exposed as leaks and investigations soldier...The hollowness of the president’s acquittal after impeachment may be exposed as leaks and investigations soldier onThe Senate trial of Donald Trump has arrived at its preordained conclusion. The president has begun a victory lap to celebrate impunity and settle scores with a long list of enemies headed by Mitt Romney, while the Democrats return to their ill-starred primaries. But there are good reasons to believe that Ukraine, the reluctant focus of the impeachment battle, will continue to haunt US politics for some time to come. Related: Trump tilts at Romney and Pelosi in first speech after impeachment acquittal – live Continue reading...
Democrats are having a field day after Trump's lawyers accidentally made the strongest case to call witnesses in his impeachment trial
President Donald Trump's defense team repeatedly argued on Saturday that there isn't enough evidence to impeach...President Donald Trump's defense team repeatedly argued on Saturday that there isn't enough evidence to impeach him because Congress hasn't heard from any witnesses who had "direct contact" with the president. Democratic lawmakers seized on those statements, saying they underscore the need to call more firsthand witnesses in Trump's trial. Moreover, while Trump's lawyers complain of not hearing testimony from direct witnesses, the defense could easily solve that problem by retracting Trump's sweeping directive barring all executive branch officials across six agencies from cooperating with Congress' impeachment inquiry. "The president's counsel did something that they did not intend: they made a really compelling case for why the Senate should call witnesses and documents," Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said after opening arguments on Saturday. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. President Donald Trump's defense team consistently drilled down on one key point as it began opening arguments in his impeachment trial on Saturday: the evidence against Trump is limited, at best, and he can't be impeached because the public hasn't heard direct evidence of his misconduct from him or anyone close to him. The remarks came as Republicans and Democrats in the Senate fight over whether to call new witnesses in the president's trial. Democrats argue that while they have more than enough to impeach Trump, they still haven't heard from senior executive branch officials closest to the president who could shed more light on his efforts to pressure Ukraine into interfering in the 2020 election. Republicans, meanwhile, say that if the evidence against Trump is as overwhelming as House Democrats say it is, the Senate doesn't need to call new witnesses. But on Saturday, Trump's lawyers seemed to bolster Democrats' case by repeatedly claiming that they hadn't heard from a single witness who had "direct contact" with the president. Although their statements were misleading (Gordon Sondland, the US's ambassador to the European Union, was in frequent touch with Trump and testified to Congress that the president engaged in a quid pro quo with Ukraine), Democratic lawmakers noted that the comments underscored the need to hear from more firsthand witnesses. It's worth noting, too, that though the president's lawyers complain of not hearing testimony from witnesses who spoke to Trump directly, the defense team led by White House counsel Pat Cipollone could easily solve that problem by retracting Trump's sweeping directive last year barring all executive branch officials across six agencies from cooperating with the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry. Multiple senior administration officials in the president's inner circle — like acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and former national security adviser John Bolton — cited Cipollone's command, which he issued at the president's direction, as the reason they would not testify or provide relevant documents. Bolton, who was at the center of a number of episodes investigated in the inquiry, has since said that he will testify if the Senate decides to subpoena him. "Now, the first point that I would like to make is that the president's counsel did something that they did not intend: They made a really compelling case for why the Senate should call witnesses and documents," said Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer. "They kept saying there are no eyewitness accounts, but there are people who have eyewitness accounts, the very four witnesses and the very four sets of documents that we have asked for," he said. "But there are people who do know. Mick Mulvaney knows. In all likelihood, Mr. [Robert] Blair, [an aide to Mulvaney], knows. Mr. Bolton may know. 'Why shouldn't we have witnesses and documents here?' I thought." Sen. Joe Manchin of Virginia, who is widely considered a Democratic swing vote because he represents a deep-red state, told CNN he thought Trump's team did a "good job" of "making me think about things." He added, "One thing that stuck in my mind is they said there isn't a witness they have had so far that had direct contact with the president. I'd love to hear from Mulvaney and Bolton." Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut echoed that point, telling MSNBC that Trump's lawyers "repeatedly said that we have heard limited evidence from individuals who talked directly to the president, who were ordered by the president to engage in this scheme." "Of course, the reason for that is because the White House won't let us hear" from those people, he added. "So if what's missing ... is direct evidence of what the president told the people who work for him, there's a way to solve for that. I hope we don't have to get leaked audio of the president directing orders in this corruption scheme in order to prove our case." He was referring to a bombshell report from ABC News this week which said the outlet had obtained an audio tape from 2018 where Trump is heard ordering the firing of Marie Yovanovitch, who at the time the US's ambassador to Ukraine. The president demanded she be removed after his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, colluded with a controversial op-ed columnist and two Ukrainian associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, to plant negative stories about Yovanovitch in the press accusing her of anti-Trump bias. "Get rid of her!" Trump is heard saying in the recording. "Get her out tomorrow. I don't care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. OK? Do it." Parnas' attorney, Joseph Bondy, said Fruman created the original recording and gave Parnas a copy. Bondy turned the copy over to the House Intelligence Committee. Editor's note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Lev Parnas recorded President Trump ordering the firing of Marie Yovanovitch. In fact, Igor Fruman created the recording and gave Parnas a copy. The article has been updated to reflect this correction.SEE ALSO: Day 1 of the Trump defense team's opening arguments in his impeachment trial was a masterclass in disinformation Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A law professor weighs in on how Trump could beat impeachment
Documents from Giuliani associate Lev Parnas add fresh context to charges Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate...Documents from Giuliani associate Lev Parnas add fresh context to charges Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate rivalHouse Democrats have released a trove of documents obtained from Lev Parnas, a close associate of Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, including a handwritten note that mentions asking Ukraine’s president to investigate “the Biden case.” Related: Democratic debate: rivals square off in final clash before Iowa caucuses – live Continue reading...