Appearing Tuesday on MSNBC, House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) vowed Democrats will continue to investigate President Donald Trump over possible ties to Russia after the Senate impeachment trial concludes.
A partial transcript is as follows:
CRAIG MELVIN: What did your caucus accomplish by holding those articles of impeachment for this long?
REP. MIKE QUIGLEY: Well, certainly, it flushed out Mitch McConnell and the hardcore Senate Republicans. They didn’t want to hold a fair trial. Second, I think it helped educate and inform the American people as to what was taking place. As a result, over 72 percent of the American people want a fair trial and they know what a trial looks like. A trial has documents, a trial has witnesses. You don’t show up at a trial and the judge and jury say, “this is over.” And as Justice Rehnquist said 1999, “the Senate isn’t just the jury, it is the trier of fact and law.” That’s why that oath that senators are going to be taking is so vital. They are the ball game. And I think what we’ve done is we’ve shown the American people where they stand, and they’ve taken there stand that they do want witnesses and documents as we saw during the Clinton impeachment.
CRAIG MELVIN: You mentioned the American people. Your constituents there in Illinois, are they calling and emailing, encouraging you to impeach the President of the United States? Is this top of mind for them?
REP. MIKE QUIGLEY: It is, and it has been for an extraordinarily long period of time. I think, as the special counsel’s report came out, where he detailed at least 11 times where the president obstructed justice and detailed the facts about the Russia investigation, leading into the impeachment inquiry, certainly the call with the Ukrainian president has only enhanced that. If it’s my district that we’re talking about, the president would be removed.
CRAIG MELVIN: Really quickly here, there’s another possible route that’s emerging for your caucus to take moving. Axios [is] reporting that another card that the speaker could play here. “A trove of text messages served over by Lev Parnas, the indicted former Rudy Giuliani associate.” These text messages are not public. We don’t know what’s in them. Could we see those messages make their way to the upper chamber’s part of the trial?
REP. MIKE QUIGLEY: Well, some of that’s up to Mitch. I am aware that information was transferred to my committee, the House Select Committee on Intelligence. It remains to be seen what’s in there and how they are valued. You’re right. We’ve learned in the meantime recently, through private litigation, about other information. For example, that the president, 90 minutes after the call with President Zelensky, ordered the halt of military aid to our ally Ukraine. I suspect we’re going to be continuing to learn. And when this process is all over, the Committee on Intelligence will continue to investigate this president from all the issues relating to the Russia investigation, including money laundering.