News

White House

Ukraine Whistleblower’s Legal Team Preparing for Possible Public Testimony in Senate

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky meets with President Donald Trump during the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, Sept. 25, 2019. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

The legal team for the whistleblower whose complaint sparked the impeachment inquiry into President Trump is trying to develop a strategy to counter a possible subpoena for public testimony, in the likely event the Senate conducts an impeachment trial, CNN reported on Wednesday.

The whistleblower’s complaint pertained to a phone call made by President Trump on July 25, during which Trump urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate corruption allegations against political rival Joe Biden. House Democrats have since launched the impeachment inquiry due to suspicions Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine to pressure the country to investigate Biden.

Senators could subpoena the whistleblower to publicly testify in an impeachment trial. President Trump and allies have repeatedly urged the whistleblower to come forward publicly, however he or she has only offered to answer written questions from Republicans.

The whistleblower’s legal team is looking into what case it can make to prevent him or her from testifying, and is conducting research into historical precedent to build an argument.

However, it is still not clear what form the expected trial will take. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has suggested a scenario in which no trial even occurs, although he has not yet made a decision on the matter.

“The House managers would come over and make their argument. The President’s lawyers would then respond. And at that point, the Senate has two choices: It could go down the path of calling witnesses and basically having another trial,” McConnell told reporters on Tuesday. “Or it could decide — and again, 51 senators could make that decision — that they’ve heard enough and believe they know what would happen and could move on the two articles of impeachment sent over to us from the House.”

Meanwhile, several moderate Democrats from swing districts are worried an impeachment vote will put them at a disadvantage in the 2020 elections. Some have raised the idea of censuring Trump over his actions regarding Ukraine instead of impeaching him, but the idea does not have broad support in the House.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Most Popular

Elections

‘Slipping and Sliding down the Polls’

This is an excerpt from episode 233 of The Editors. Rich: So Jim Geraghty, I have the RealClearPolitics Biden versus Trump polling page up right here. I’m just going to read you some numbers going back to . . . This is a CNBC poll from the 10th and 12th of June. And I’m just going to run through to the ... Read More
Elections

‘Slipping and Sliding down the Polls’

This is an excerpt from episode 233 of The Editors. Rich: So Jim Geraghty, I have the RealClearPolitics Biden versus Trump polling page up right here. I’m just going to read you some numbers going back to . . . This is a CNBC poll from the 10th and 12th of June. And I’m just going to run through to the ... Read More

Stalin, Famine, and the New York Times

‘The world is being invaded by monsters, but I suppose you don’t want to hear about that,” Both clauses of that sentence are devastatingly true: The reference is equally to the horrors of the Soviet Union’s mass murders -- and to the West’s determination to turn its back to the monstrosity. The speaker ... Read More

Stalin, Famine, and the New York Times

‘The world is being invaded by monsters, but I suppose you don’t want to hear about that,” Both clauses of that sentence are devastatingly true: The reference is equally to the horrors of the Soviet Union’s mass murders -- and to the West’s determination to turn its back to the monstrosity. The speaker ... Read More

Hamilton on the Wrong Side of Cinema

Disney’s presentation of the Broadway blockbuster Hamilton marks a curious cultural turning point: The most heralded production in recent Broadway history has not been adapted into a movie — it’s a digital video recording of a 2016 stage performance — because it has to live up to its hype as an exclusive ... Read More

Hamilton on the Wrong Side of Cinema

Disney’s presentation of the Broadway blockbuster Hamilton marks a curious cultural turning point: The most heralded production in recent Broadway history has not been adapted into a movie — it’s a digital video recording of a 2016 stage performance — because it has to live up to its hype as an exclusive ... Read More

The Year of Stupid

It turned out that the novel coronavirus was only the second-most-infectious disease to spread through the U.S. this year. Satan’s Cupcake has, after all, been diagnosed in less than 1 percent of Americans. The not-so-novel imbecility virus is, on the other hand, ravaging the minds of everyone from news ... Read More

The Year of Stupid

It turned out that the novel coronavirus was only the second-most-infectious disease to spread through the U.S. this year. Satan’s Cupcake has, after all, been diagnosed in less than 1 percent of Americans. The not-so-novel imbecility virus is, on the other hand, ravaging the minds of everyone from news ... Read More