On CNN Saturday, former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY), who voted for the articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon, discussed the path forward for impeaching President Donald Trump.
“We know moderate Democrats are a bit frustrated with leadership over potentially expanding the scope of their consideration, maybe the Mueller report findings and drawing up these articles of impeachment,” said anchor Victor Blackwell. “Do you think it’s a mistake not to include anything beyond the Ukraine matter?”
“Yes,” said Holtzman. “I think it would be a mistake, although, you know, I’m still at a distance, and the members of the committee really have to, who have been digging into this deeply have the best feel, but my sense is that the, what the president did is so egregious, not just with regard to Ukraine, but what part of what’s bad about his activities in Ukraine, is that he’s taken a sledgehammer to the Constitution by saying that Congress has no right to get information, and he’s cut off his committee, his administration from, and ordered and directed them not to cooperate with the committee in any way.”
“So documents haven’t been turned over by the State Department, by the Office of Management and Budget, by the Defense Department about what happened,” continued Holtzman. “He’s trying to deny not just Congress but the American people the facts. Congress tried to investigate the Mueller investigation. In other words, call witnesses such as the White House counsel, tried to get documents, tried to understand and show the American people what the report was about. The president took a sledgehammer to that. He’s tried basically to put himself above the Constitution. Congress has the power to impeach, the sole power of impeachment, and the president is obstructing that. That has to be, in my judgment, part of the articles of impeachment.”
Legal analyst rips senators for ‘getting the vapers’ and using Schiff ‘being mean’ as an excuse to vote against witnesses
Senators are already trying to come up with an excuse not to support calling witnesses for the impeachment trial and CNN legal analyst Jeff Toobin thinks they found it.
According to CNN's Manu Raju, Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), John Barrasso (R-WY), Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Jim Risch (R-ID) freaked out about a CBS News report cited by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) that a Trump confidant said if the Republicans vote against Trump their "head will be in a pike."
Susan Collins denies CBS report that a Trump friend threatened Republicans’ heads ‘will be on a pike’
CBS News reported this week that a friend of the president's threatened U.S. senators if they were thinking of voting in support of witnesses.
“Vote against the president and your head will be on a pike," the Trump confidant said.
According to Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), however, it was a lie and no one ever said it.
CNN's Manu Raju revealed after the Senate adjourned that Collins audibly disputed Schiff's quote of the story during the trial.
"She shook her head and said, 'No they didn't. No, that's not true,'" Raju reported.
Here’s why Trump and McConnell can’t hold up impeachment witnesses during the Senate trial: Ex-special counsel
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been threatening senators that if they voted for witnesses to appear and be questioned, then it would turn the impeachment into an overwhelmingly long and drawn-out process. It's an argument that President Donald Trump's legal team has also argued. The problem is that it is legally incorrect, according to a former special counsel to the Defense Department.
In a panel discussion with CNN, Ryan Goodman said that there's no legal basis for this claim.
"In fact, the Senate can decide the matter and it wouldn't be litigated," Goodman explained. "If the Senate decided to issue the subpoenas and the Chief Justice, in fact, sent those subpoenas, it would be the final word. There's a Supreme Court case about this, Nixon v. United States, Judge Nixon, which said the Senate sets the rules and the courts review it. So, it's not like it will be litigated in a way. They are the final word."