She recounted all the evidence that has come to light since the articles were passed. Had the articles been immediately transmitted, she argued, the Senate would have dismissed the articles. “The Senate leader and the president are afraid of more facts coming to light. ... The American people want a fair trial.”
Pelosi is right: Recent revelations highlight why it is politically untenable for Senate Republicans to conspire with Trump to hide damning evidence of his impeachable conduct. Emails among key players referencing the hold-up in aid were uncovered. Former national security adviser John Bolton agreed to testify if subpoenaed. The treasure trove of documents turned over to the House on Tuesday from Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, dropped two bombshells: that Giuliani’s goons were conducting surveillance on then-U.S. Ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and that there appears to be a second quid pro quo.
The Post reports: “The messages, written in Russian, show [former Ukrainian prosecutor Yuri] Lutsenko urging Parnas to force out Yovanovitch in exchange for cooperation regarding Biden. At one point, Lutsenko suggests he won’t make any helpful public statements unless ‘madam’ is removed.” How is this not a bribe? Give Trump something of value (a public statement incriminating a political opponent, not an actual investigation) in exchange for a public act, namely firing Yovanovitch. The House would be perfectly entitled to hold hearings and pass an additional article of impeachment concerning this abuse of power.
Republican senators know about the Parnas documents. They know the House knows about them. They know the public knows about them. It is politically impossible for the Senate to say they will not consider damning evidence that everyone else knows and that the House could use as the basis of new articles of impeachment.
Not coincidentally, I suspect, we also learn that Bolton is nearly finished with his book. We should stress that writing a book for money rather than timely disclosing evidence germane to the impeachment of the president is morally indefensible. Since such concerns have not motivated Bolton to date, the Senate will need to subpoena him. Once again, Republicans cannot pretend that Bolton does not exist nor can they bet the book will not effectively “convict” Trump in the court of public opinion.
Republicans will not achieve the outcome they hope for — exonerating Trump — unless they introduce documents and call witnesses whose relevance is already known and which cannot remain under wraps. Does anyone imagine Parnas, Giuliani and the rest of the crew will not, perhaps at or before their own trials, feel compelled to reveal the contents of those documents? Does anyone think they won’t pursue a plea deal in which those documents become relevant?
Pelosi has done an impressive job making avoidance of evidence part of a “coverup.” She is putting the Republican senators under the spotlight, daring them to conspire with Trump. Republicans’ defensive wall around Trump is crumbling. We can thank Pelosi for that.