Schumer doesn’t rule out calling Parnas to testify in impeachment trial

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on Thursday that Democrats would not rule out trying to call Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, to testify during the impeachment trial. 

“As for Mr. Parnas, it’s something we wouldn’t rule out, but we want to see all of the — evidently there are four sets of emails coming out and I’d want to wait to see those,” Schumer told reporters during a press conference. 


Schumer added that he believes documents from Parnas released by House Democrats, as well as an interview on MSNBC on Wednesday, bolsters the argument for the four witnesses Democrats have already asked for. 

They want to hear from former national security adviser John Bolton, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Mulvaney’s senior adviser Robert Blair and Michael Duffey, the associate director of national security at the Office of Management. 

Schumer said on Thursday that the four are “fact witnesses who know exactly what happened.” 

Democrats, according to Schumer, are expected to force votes on the four witnesses, as well as three sets of documents on Tuesday — when the Senate takes up and debates the trial rules resolution.
Republicans have the 51 votes to pass their own rules resolution over the objections of Democrats. But the resolution is amendable, allowing Democrats to force votes to work in their requests. 
Democrats believe a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, as well as a steady stream of news reports are adding pressure to Republicans to support calling witnesses and Ukraine-related documents. 

The GAO issued a report on Thursday accusing the White House budget office of breaking the law by withholding military aid to Ukraine — the very issue at the heart of the Democrats’ impeachment effort.

The GAO report came after Republicans were already facing a flurry of questions because of Parnas, who told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that Trump “knew exactly what was going on” with the efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate former vice president and 2020 rival Joe Biden.
Parnas also turned evidence over to the House citing the Trump administration and Giuliani’s efforts to coerce Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son. The records, which the House released Tuesday, include texts between Giuliani and Parnas.

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