Dem Rep. Lloyd Doggett: "I Would Certainly Support" Withholding Impeachment Articles; Could Be More | Video | RealClearPolitics

Dem Rep. Lloyd Doggett: I "Certainly Support" Withholding Impeachment Articles; There Could Be More

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Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett told CNN Thursday morning that he would support House Speaker Nancy Pelosi withholding sending President Donald Trump's articles of impeachment from the U.S. Senate until Majority Leader Mitch McConnell guarantees "a fair and impartial trial."

He also suggested that the House could pass additional articles of impeachment against the president before sending them to be considered by the Senate.

"Without witnesses, and there’s no sign yet that the Republican majority will allow witnesses to be called, should Speaker Pelosi refuse to send over the articles of impeachment at all?" CNN anchor Jim Sciutto asked Doggett.

"I would certainly support her in doing that," Doggett replied. "The House has the sole responsibility under the Constitution for impeachment, to send over the articles. So I think she could rightly say we have done our job under the Constitution, the ultimate jurors will be the American people. They should consider what we’ve done."

"Of course in ensuing weeks, we may have additional evidence out there through investigative reporting and other disclosures that would justify sending it at a later time," he said.

"It sounds like you would be happy if the articles never made it to the Senate here. Would you be? And do other members of the caucus feel the same way?" Sciutto asked later.

"I would be happiest with a fair and impartial trial in accordance with the Constitution and the oath that these senators take," Doggett said. "That’s my strong first preference. But short of that, I don’t think it helps to send over the articles if they’re not going to get fair and full consideration."

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN: Regarding impeachment, you tweeted that, quote, "Republican Senator Mitch McConnell has pledged to cover up, according to Trump, with a no witness pseudo trial." I wonder, without witnesses, and there's no sign yet that the Republican majority will allow witnesses to be called, should Speaker Pelosi refuse to send over the articles of impeachment at all?

REP. LLOYD DOGGETT: Well, I would certainly support her in doing that. The House has the sole responsibility under the Constitution for impeachment to send over the articles when the majority leader, Mr. Mcconnell, has declared that he will breach his oath, that he will not do impartial justice in accordance with the Constitution, but plans to act in accordance only with the defendant, in this case, would be no trial at all.

So I think she could rightly say we have done our job under the Constitution, the ultimate jurors will be the American people. They should consider what we've done. Of course in ensuing weeks, we may have additional evidence out there through investigative reporting and other disclosures that would justify sending it at a later time. Meanwhile, McConnell loses his excuse for not acting on other important business, like the new United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, which he could take up next week.

SCIUTTO: What is the minimum that Democrats need to see for this to be a fair trial? Is the minimum Mitch McConnell approving witnesses such as former national security adviser John Bolton, others with direct knowledge of the president's involvement?

LLOYD DOGGETT: Well, I think most of the witnesses that have been requested are "all the president's men." They're not some hostile force out there unfair to the president, but they're the people that gathered in the Oval Office around his desk to try to convince him to not use Ukrainian military aid for his personal gain. And we should hear from them. I wouldn't select the number of witnesses or who they are. That would be a Senate function. But at least to say we're going to follow the oath and have a fair trial, not a sham proceeding. There's no reason for the Senate to consider our articles unless they're willing to do that and we ought not to have the first impeachment trial in American history with no witnesses.

SCIUTTO: Let me ask you, it sounds like you would be happy if the articles never made it to the Senate here. Would you be? And do other members of the caucus feel the same way?

LLOYD DOGGETT: Well, I would be happiest with a fair and impartial trial in accordance with the constitution and the oath that these senators take. That's my strong first preference. But short of that, I don't think it helps to send over the articles if they're not going to get fair and full consideration as they have been with President Clinton, and of course President Johnson and the impact of the house in forcing the resignation of President Nixon.



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