TRUMP: ‘Why should I have the stigma of Impeachment attached to my name when I did NOTHING wrong?’…
(Liberty Headlines) President Donald Trump and Speaker Nancy Pelosi squared off Sunday ahead of his impeachment trial, as she said senators will “pay a price” for blocking new witnesses and he quickly retorted that she and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff should both testify.
The House plans to vote this week to transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate for the historic trial on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over Trump’s actions toward Ukraine.
Trump and Pelosi, the two most powerful party leaders in the nation, communicated as often happens in this presidency — with the president responding on Twitter to a television interview.
“It’s about a fair trial,” Pelosi told ABC’s “This Week.” “We’ve done our job. We have defended the Constitution of the United States. We would hope the Senate would do that as well.”
She warned, “Now the ball is in their court to either do that or pay a price.”
Trump tweeted right before and after Pelosi’s appearance, in both instances using derisive nicknames. He said both she and Schiff should appear in the Senate for testimony.
“He must be a Witness, and so should she!” Trump tweeted.
Hours later Trump suggested almost the opposite, saying senators should do away with a trial completely.
Trump said “many believe” by holding a Senate trial “it gives the partisan Democrat Witch Hunt credibility that it otherwise does not have. I agree!”
The president rebutted Pelosi’s suggestion that no matter what the Senate does, he will always be impeached. Pelosi said the House vote last month means Trump will be “impeached forever” and “for life.”
“Why should I have the stigma of Impeachment attached to my name when I did NOTHING wrong?” Trump tweeted, calling the House action a “totally partisan Hoax.’”
Voters are divided over impeachment much the way they are split along partisan lines and as the Senate prepares for the trial both parties are trying to set the terms of the debate over high crimes and misdemeanors.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has proposed a process similar to the last presidential impeachment trial of Bill Clinton in 1999 that would start the proceedings and then vote later on hearing new testimony.
One leading Republican, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, has already predicted that the trial would end ”in a matter of days.”
In a Fox News Channel interview Saturday, Graham dismissed Pelosi’s tactics, saying the delay would have no effect on calling new witnesses or the expected outcome — acquittal by the GOP-controlled Senate.
“The Senate should not reward this behavior by the House,” said Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “The Senate should end this trial as quickly as possible. That’s what I intend to do. He will be acquitted. I hope and pray every Republican will reject what Nancy Pelosi did, and we’ll pick up a few Democrats.”
McConnell is reluctant to pursue any more witnesses at all, wary of dragging out the Senate trial. He and joined some Republicans in backing a proposal for votes to dismiss the charges against Trump.
But at least one Republican up for reelection, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, said last week she was in talks with GOP colleagues on a process that would allow them to hear more testimony as Democrats want.
The Democratic-run House is set to vote this week to send over the articles of impeachment after Pelosi ended a more than three-week delay.
Once the Republican-led Senate receives the charges, the trial is expected to begin swiftly.
The date is not yet certain and Pelosi will meet behind closed doors with House Democrats to decide next steps on Tuesday morning ahead of the party’s presidential primary debate that evening, the last before the Iowa caucus Feb. 3.
While some Democrats have grumbled about the delay, Pelosi and other party leaders defended the strategy, saying it produced new potential evidence and turned public attention on the upcoming trial.
“One of the things that holding on to the articles has succeeded doing is fleshing out McConnell and the president’s desire to make this a cover up,” Schiff said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
“If McConnell succeeds in making this trial a trial without witnesses…. That’s not a fair trial. That’s a sham,” he said.
Pelosi said senators need to consider new witnesses, including former national security adviser John Bolton, who has said he would be willing to testify if he receives a subpoena.
Right before Pelosi was set to appear for the Sunday interview, Trump tweeted against Pelosi, calling her a derisive nickname, “Crazy Nancy.”
Asked about Trump’s tweet, Pelosi said, “Every knock from him is a boost.”
Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.