During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said House Democrats were “in court” to try to get more witnesses for the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
Host George Stephanopoulos played a clip of Republican Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) criticizing House Democrats for not trying to enforce their subpoenas and force several White House aides to testify about their knowledge of the decision to withhold military aid to Ukraine.
Pelosi said Collins’ statement was “not true” and went on to claim that the House had taken several subpoenas to court.
“That isn’t even true. We are in court on the witnesses. It could take a very long time,” Pelosi said.
Watch her comments below:
Pelosi: "Clinton allowed witnesses to come forward. Pres.Trump has prevented that from happening."@GStephanopoulos: "Why not wait for the courts to rule?"— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) January 12, 2020
Pelosi: "Because it will be— how long do the courts take? … We have confidence in our case." https://t.co/G6Ef3GUsED pic.twitter.com/A6WQ86tXku
When Stephanopolous noted that House Democrats did not subpoena former National Security Advisor John Bolton, Pelosi claimed that the House was seeking to enforce subpoenas of other prospective witnesses.
“Well, on the other witnesses we have been in court. And we haven’t ever eliminated the possibility of subpoenaing Bolton.”
However, Politico’s Kyle Cheney noted that House Democratics only sought to subpoena former White House Counsel Don McGahn and have “intentionally avoided subpoenas for other Ukraine witnesses.”
Cheney also noted that the House was not “in court” to get other White House aides to testify either.
“None of the witnesses Schumer has identified as crucial for Senate trial — Bolton, Mulvaney, Blair, Duffey — are being pursued in court by the House. They weren’t even subpoenaed.”
None of the witnesses Schumer has identified as crucial for Senate trial — Bolton, Mulvaney, Blair, Duffey — are being pursued in court by the House. They weren’t even subpoenaed.— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) January 12, 2020
Some Democrats say this was to avoid entangling them in court during impeachment process.
And legal expert Ross Garber tweeted out a Pinnochio emoji in response to Pelosi’s comments saying, “House didn’t subpoena Bolton and other key impeachment witnesses. And House didn’t seek to enforce subpoenas it did issue. Senate has no more power to enforce subpoenas than does the House.”
🤥 House didn’t subpoena Bolton and other key impeachment witnesses. And House didn’t seek to enforce subpoenas it did issue. Senate has no more power to enforce subpoenas than does the House. (Exec priv, and maybe immunity, may preclude getting Bolton Senate testimony) https://t.co/WjhfvYGuba— Ross Garber (@rossgarber) January 12, 2020
Pelosi has decided not to transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate yet — effectively putting a pause on the Senate’s trial — in an effort to force Senate Republicans to agree to call new witnesses during its trial.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has rejected Democrats’ witness list thus far.
And Senate Republicans have accused Democrats of trying to force the Senate “to do House Democrats’ homework for them,” and make the case for impeachment “more persuasive” by calling witnesses that could be damning to Trump’s defense.