Author: ZEKE MILLER (MARK SHERMAN and ERIC TUCKER Associated Press)
The House Judiciary Committee is holding open the possibility of recommending additional articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
It hinges on the testimony of former White House counsel Don McGahn. A judge last month directed McGahn to comply with a subpoena and testify. A federal appeals court is scheduled to hear arguments Jan. 3 on whether McGahn can be forced to testify.
“If McGahn’s testimony produces new evidence supporting the conclusion that President Trump committed impeachable offenses that are not covered by the Articles approved by the House, the Committee will proceed accordingly — including, if necessary, by considering whether to recommend new articles of impeachment,” lawyers for the Democratic-led committee wrote, according to The Associated Press.
The Justice Department has reportedly asked for a dismissal, arguing that judges shouldn’t get involved in a political dispute.
Meanwhile, the date of Trump’s Senate trial for the two articles of impeachment already passed by the House remains in limbo. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said last week she wants to see how the Senate plans to conduct the trial to be sure it is fair.
Trump lashed out Tuesday, singling out Pelosi and saying she “hates the Republican Party.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he has not ruled out calling witnesses but also indicated that he was in no hurry to seek new testimony either. McConnell said last week he is not an impartial juror and that the process is political.
The Senate’s top Democrat, Chuck Schumer, says any trial without witnesses would be a “sham.”
The trial will be presided over by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who will have the chance to demonstrate what he has preached relentlessly in recent years: Judges are not politicians. That’s essentially the same message Roberts delivered in his confirmation hearing 14 years ago when he said judges should be like baseball umpires, impartially calling balls and strikes. It’s also what he said last year in a rare rebuke of Trump for criticizing what the president labeled an “Obama judge.”