Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is keeping Democrats’ dream of further witness testimony in President Donald Trump’s impeachment hearings alive, telling ABC News’ “This Week,” Sunday morning, that she believes the House will call former national security advisor John Bolton to testify, even though the House is set to vote, Tuesday, to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial.
Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D-CA) and Rep. Jerry Nadler’s (D-NY) twin impeachment inquiries concluded more than a month ago but failed to make an airtight case that President Donald Trump should be removed from office — an opinion held by both independent voters, who quickly soured on the impeachment process, and even members of the mainstream media, who questioned why Schiff and Nadler failed to call key White House witnesses during schedule hearings.
Pelosi and her Senate counterpart, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) plotted to withhold the articles of impeachment from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in order to force McConnell to allow testimony from Bolton and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney during the course of Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, but the effort failed when McConnell marshaled enough votes to move forward with the process without Democrats’ input.
Now, Pelosi, who was forced to schedule a vote to send the articles to the Senate for Tuesday, says the House impeachment inquiry isn’t over, and that Democrats may decide to call Bolton to testify about a possible quid-pro-quo between Trump and Ukrainian officials regarding an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, even though the articles of impeachment are already published.
“It’s not excluded,” Pelosi said on “This Week” Sunday, referring to a possible House subpoena to Bolton. “We do think there is enough evidence to remove the president.”
“We have done our job,” Pelosi aded. “We hope the Senate would do that as well.”
“It’s about a fair trial. They take an oath to have a fair trial and we think that would be with witnesses and documentation,” the Democratic leader concluded. “Now, the ball is in their court to either do that or pay the price.”
Senior Democrats raised the possibility of subpoenaing Bolton last week, after Bolton himself admitted that, if asked to testify by the Senate, he would comply (though he did not speak on whether he would do the same for a House subpoena, and referenced Republicans specifically).
The theory seems to be, according to a plan of action outlined by former advisors of President Barack Obama on the left-leaning site, Crooked, if Bolton is called to testify in the House and provides information critical to the case against the President, that Senate Republicans will have no choice but to allow witnesses at Trump’s Senate impeachment trial.
The plan isn’t airtight; Schiff deliberately avoided allowing certain witnesses — Bolton and Mulvaney among them — to testify at the House inquiry, apparently out of fear that their accounts might bolster, not harm, the White House’s case. If Bolton does provide some evidence against the President, and the Senate, accordingly, opens the floor to witness testimony, Republicans would then be allowed to call their own parties to answer questions from a Senate pane. The GOP has been clear, all along, that, if witnesses are allowed, it intends to call Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and the elusive whistleblower, whose account of a call between Trump and Ukrainian officials gave rise to the impeachment inquiry itself.
Pelosi, without options, has scheduled a vote on whether to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate for Tuesday.