A former federal prosecutor is urging the House to continue its investigation into President Donald Trump’s alleged Ukraine scheme after his Senate impeachment trial is over to uncover the “full truth” of what happened.
Writing in an op-ed for Politico, Renato Mariotti argued that the Senate trial is likely to result in Trump’s acquittal without exploring all of the emerging evidence from individuals such as Lev Parnas, or potential significant testimony from others, such as John Bolton and Mike Pompeo.
Senate Republicans want a swift trial and many will not even consider calling for new evidence or testimony beyond what was gathered during the House inquiry, and thus formed the basis of the articles of impeachment, until later on.
But the Democrats say Trump obstructed the House inquiry into alleged abuse of power—behavior that resulted in an article for obstruction—and the Senate must take the opportunity to gather new, relevant and necessary evidence at its trial.
Bolton, the former top national security adviser to Trump, would not willingly give evidence to the House inquiry. However, he has since put out a statement to say he would testify before the Senate if issued with a subpoena.
Parnas, an indicted associate of Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, is speaking out publicly about some of the activities he was involved in regarding the alleged Ukraine scheme, and has released new documentary evidence to support his claims—though his credibility is in question.
The Democrats also want the Senate to question other witnesses to the alleged Ukraine scheme, including Secretary of State Pompeo and Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
This political standoff will not likely go in the Democrats’ favor as the GOP has a Senate majority.
Mariotti, an attorney who was a prosecutor for almost a decade with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, wrote in his column that “a new investigation will be necessary.”
“The House impeachment inquiry was limited in time by the purpose of its work,” Mariotti wrote.
“If the House spent months fighting in court every time the Trump administration withheld documents or ordered witnesses not to appear, impeachment wouldn’t happen until after the 2020 election.
“But a subsequent House investigation could fight in court to obtain that evidence, establishing important legal precedents and ensuring that misconduct is not hidden from public view…As those new leads come to light, the House should be poised to follow them until the full truth is known.”
The Senate trial of Trump begins this week. The president is impeached with two articles: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Trump is accused of soliciting Ukraine’s interference in the 2020 election to benefit his campaign.
According to the case against Trump, the president conditioned the release of $391 million in military aid and a White House visit for Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Kyiv announcing an unfounded corruption investigation into former vice president Joe Biden.
Biden is the front-running candidate in the Democratic Party’s race for the 2020 nomination. Trump denies any wrongdoing, says he wanted nothing from Ukraine, and claims to have been pursuing legitimate concerns about corruption around Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.