By Miriam Raftery
January 24, 2020 (Washington D.C.)- - As Democrats wrapped up their arguments for removing President Trump from office during the Senate impeachment trial this week, Republicans controlling the Senate have thus far refused to allow new witnesses to be called. The White house continues to defy requests for public records.
Now, CBS news reports that a confidant of President Trump told CBS that senators were warned quote: “vote against the president & your head will be on a pike.”
Such a threat, if true, could amount to witness tampering and threatening federal officials with violence.
In addition, MSNBC reports hearing a tape in which Trump demands that Marie Yovanovich, the former ambassador to Ukraine, be removed, though whether he was calling for her firing or assassination is unclear.
“Get rid of her...Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. Okay? Do it,.” A voice that sounds like Trump is heard demanding on the tape, ABC News reports.
The recording was allegedly made during a 2018 dinner party with Lev Parnas, a former associate of Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. Parnas’ attorney, Joe Bondy, has issued a statement which says of the recording, which he indicated was not released by his client, “It is yet another example of Mr. Parnas’s version of events being corroborated by evidence in the form of recordings, emails, text messages.”
Trump has used the phrase “take out” when he referred to his order to kill Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, who was killed by a U.S. air strike in Iraq. Trump, who formerly starred in the Apprentice game show, famously used the phrase “You’re fired!” when referring to terminating a job.