Lawmakers Clash Over Shape of Impeachment Trial as Rules Vote Looms

Lawmakers Clash Over Shape of Impeachment Trial as Rules Vote Looms


But several Republican senators on Sunday dismissed the idea of calling additional witnesses, saying it was up to the House to conduct those interviews before approving the articles of impeachment and sending them to the Senate.

“If the House isn’t prepared to go forward with the evidence that they produced in the impeachment inquiry, maybe they ought to withdraw the articles of impeachment and start over again,” Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, said on “Face the Nation,” adding that it was not the Senate’s responsibility to do work that the House failed to do before voting to impeach Mr. Trump.

“This, to me, seems to undermine or indicate that they’re getting cold feet or have a lack of confidence in what they’ve done so far,” he said.

Senator Richard C. Shelby, Republican of Alabama, said his early assessment of the case against the president was that the House had not proved Mr. Trump was guilty of abuse of power or obstruction of Congress. He said senators should hear the arguments from both sides before making a decision on witnesses.

“If the case looks so flimsy, as some people say, if it’s nothing to it, it doesn’t rise to impeachable offenses, like a court of law, the court disposes of it,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Some Democrats have suggested that the Senate should hear from Lev Parnas, an associate of the president’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani. Mr. Parnas, who is under indictment on criminal campaign finance charges, was involved with Mr. Giuliani’s efforts to pressure Ukraine on Mr. Trump’s behalf and has provided texts, emails and other documents to House investigators.

Mr. Perdue dismissed Mr. Parnas, calling him a “distraction” and insisting that he had only secondhand information about the president’s actions.



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