The Impeachment Trial Looms. More Ukraine Evidence Surfaces

Jan 17, 2020

What’s next for the impeachment inquiry? We’ll discuss the latest developments and look at new evidence still surfacing.


John Bresnahan, congressional bureau chief for Politico. (@BresPolitico)

Miriam Elder, senior political reporter for BuzzFeed News, and former Russia correspondent for The Guardian. (@MiriamElder)

Andrew S. Weiss, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he oversees research on Russia and Eurasia. Former director for Russian, Ukrainian, and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council. (@andrewsweiss)

From The Reading List

Politico: “House Dems release new impeachment evidence related to indicted Giuliani associate” — “The House Intelligence Committee released new evidence on Tuesday related to the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, including information turned over by Lev Parnas, an indicted former associate of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.

“The release, which reflects the unfinished nature of the House’s impeachment inquiry, comes ahead of an expected House vote on Wednesday to formally send the impeachment articles to the Senate for a trial.

“‘Despite unprecedented obstruction by the president, the committee continues to receive and review potentially relevant evidence and will make supplemental transmittals,’ Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) wrote Tuesday to Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), whose panel is responsible for compiling the complete record of the investigation ahead of the Senate’s trial.

“The material released on Tuesday contains several handwritten notes, emails, encrypted messages, and other documents that underscore the close relationship between Parnas and Giuliani, who was actively pursuing an effort last year to push the Ukrainian government to announce investigations targeting Trump’s political rivals. The documents also complicate one of Trump’s oft-stated defenses of his actions toward Ukraine.”

USA Today: “Who are the 7 impeachment managers selected for the Senate trial of President Donald Trump?” — “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named seven impeachment managers Wednesday, shortly before a draft resolution appointing them will be introduced to the House of Representatives.

“‘It is their responsibility to present the very strong case for the president’s impeachment and removal,’ Pelosi said. ‘The impeachment managers represent the patriotism, pluralism and vibrancy of America.’

“The managers,all members of the House, will serve in a role similar to prosecutors once the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump begins in the Senate on Tuesday. They are tasked with presenting House Democrats’ case in the trial, which will determine whether Trump should be convicted and removed from office. Removal requires a two-thirds majority, or 67 votes in the GOP-majority Senate.

“Unlike the group of 13 Republicans who managed their case against President Bill Clinton, who were all white men, this group of seven managers consists of three women and four men. Two are members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and one is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

“The House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump on Dec. 18 for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Democrats allege Trump abused his power by pressuring the government of Ukraine to open politically motivated investigations and obstructed Congress during its investigation by withholding witnesses and documents.”

Bloomberg: “Yovanovitch Lawyer Calls Texts ‘Disturbing’: Impeachment Update” — “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she’ll send the articles of impeachment against Donald Trump to the Senate this week to begin the president’s trial. Democrats tried to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow a vote to call witnesses at the outset, but he said he plans to stick to the Clinton impeachment trial structure, which would put any decision on witnesses off until after opening arguments and the White House‘s defense.

“Here are the latest developments:

“Yovanovitch Lawyer Seeks Parnas Texts Probe (10:50 p.m.)

A lawyer for Marie Yovanovitch, the ousted U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, called for an investigation after documents released on Tuesday suggested that she had been under surveillance in Ukraine.

“‘Needless to say, the notion that American citizens and others were monitoring Ambassador Yovanovitch’s movements for unknown purposes is disturbing,’ the lawyer, Lawrence Robbins, said on Tuesday night. ‘We trust that the appropriate authorities will conduct an investigation to determine what happened.’

“The House committees that led Trump’s impeachment released telephone records and other new material from Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer and a former mayor of New York. Those documents included text messages that suggested that someone had Yovanovitch under surveillance near Kyiv.

Yovanovitch was removed as ambassador to Ukraine last May, and she testified in the impeachment investigation that she was a casualty of an effort orchestrated by Giuliani and his associates.”

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