Donald Trump has spent a large part of today whining about the upcoming Senate impeachment trial, suggesting that he has done nothing wrong and the entire proceeding should be dismissed before it even begins:
Many believe that by the Senate giving credence to a trial based on the no evidence, no crime, read the transcripts, “no pressure” Impeachment Hoax, rather than an outright dismissal, it gives the partisan Democrat Witch Hunt credibility that it otherwise does not have. I agree!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2020
Turns out there’s more bad news on the impeachment front for the president, and it comes in the form of Lev Parnas, one of the two henchmen who were in Ukraine with Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, trying to dig up dirt on former Vice President and his son, Hunter:
“Parnas … won permission from U.S. District Court Judge Paul Oetken last week to give lawmakers access to his phone records and other documents seized by federal investigators when he was arrested in October. The House Intelligence Committee subpoenaed the records as part of its impeachment investigation, according to Parnas’ attorney, Joseph Bondy.
“Now, he wants to release additional records from two cellphones and an iPad to the House Intelligence Committee, according to a court filing.
“’Review of these materials is essential to the Committee’s ability to corroborate the strength of Mr. Parnas’ potential testimony,’ his attorney wrote in the letter.”
Of course, Parnas may never get a chance to testify at the impeachment trial in the Senate if Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has his way and manages to block all witness testimony. But Parnas can still give a deposition under oath to the House Intelligence Committee, and that can be held in public session so that any and all details can be heard by the American public. That alone could prove incredibly damaging to the president.
Though he probably won’t be found guilty in the Senate and removed from office, what we learn at the trial and other hearings in the House are all but certain to be politically toxic to Trump, who already has the lowest poll numbers for an incumbent president seeking reelection since Gerald Ford.