Harris calls for Parnas to testify at Senate trial

Harris calls for Parnas to testify at Senate trial
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Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris on 2020 endorsement: 'I am not thinking about it right now' Panel: Is Kamala Harris a hypocrite for mulling a Joe Biden endorsement? The Hill's Morning Report — Dems detail case to remove Trump for abuse of power MORE (D-Calif.) said Thursday that Lev Parnas, an associate of President TrumpDonald John TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg MORE's personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiDemocrats see Mulvaney as smoking gun witness at Trump trial Pompeo lashes out at 'shameful' NPR reporter Trump legal team launches impeachment defense MORE, should be called to testify as part of the Senate’s impeachment trial in light of new claims Parnas has made regarding Trump’s involvement in the pressure campaign in Ukraine. 

Harris said the credibility of Parnas, who was indicted for and pleaded not guilty to campaign-finance law violations last year, can be determined by the Senate, but added that there’s “no question” that revelations from Parnas made public this week should be reviewed. 

“I think he should be brought before us so that we can determine his credibility. There are many ways to judge credibility,” Harris told MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt. “But there’s no question that the interviews that have occurred in the last 24 hours bring to light facts that should be pursued and should be reviewed by us as the United States Senate.”


Trump's impeachment trial officially began on Thursday, but senators have yet to agree on if new witnesses and documents should be brought forth. Democrats want to hear from Trump officials including acting chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyDemocrats see Mulvaney as smoking gun witness at Trump trial Trump legal team offers brisk opening defense of president Trump legal team launches impeachment defense MORE and former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonRomney: 'It's very likely I'll be in favor of witnesses' in Trump impeachment trial George Conway: Witness missing from impeachment trial is Trump Democrats see Mulvaney as smoking gun witness at Trump trial MORE, while Republicans have threatened to call Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for week two of impeachment trial Trump defense team signals focus on Schiff Schiff pushes back: Defense team knows Trump is guilty MORE (D-Calif.) and Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDes Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters George Conway: Witness missing from impeachment trial is Trump MORE who is at the center of Trump's requests for investigations from Kyiv.

Harris, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, dismissed the notion of making deals as part of the process of getting Republicans on board with voting to have witnesses at the trial. 

“I don't think this is the moment to make deals. This is the time to do justice. … That means bringing in all relevant facts and evidence,” she said. 

Asked whether she believes the Senate can conduct a fair trial, Harris said if the chamber cannot, “we can talk about the beginning of the end of our democracy and our system of justice.” 

Parnas provided records, which the House released Tuesday, that corroborate details at the heart of Trump’s impeachment, including about a pressure campaign to get Ukraine to announce a probe into the Bidens.

Parnas further implicated Trump in the effort, alleging that the president “knew exactly what was going on” in regards to Ukraine, as part of an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Wednesday night. 

The White House has stood by Trump’s claim that the president does not know Parnas, despite Parnas's claims to the contrary.