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Top Democrat says more testimony possible in Trump impeachment

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(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE ADAM SCHIFF, SAYING (NOV 21)

"In my view there is nothing more dangerous than an unethical president who believes they are above the law."

After two weeks of televised testimony, Democratic lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee have begun writing their report on an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Five open sessions and numerous witnesses testified that Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, worked with a number of U.S. officials to press Ukraine's government to open investigations into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

And the committee chairman, Adam Schiff, on Sunday (November 24) told CNN that Congress may yet conduct further hearings.

The number two Democrat on the committee, Jim Himes of Connecticut, told CBS News that an indicted associate Giuliani, Lev Parnas, very likely had information the committee may need to hear.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC REPRESENTATIVE JIM HIMES, SAYING:

"I think it would be very interesting to hear what he has to say because of course he was wrapped up in the other half of this that we don't know a lot about, which is, what the heck Rudy Giuliani was doing in Ukraine. Obviously, Rudy Giuliani, private citizen, affiliated with the president. [flash] So I think Lev Parnas can shed some light on the whole unseemly activity that Giuliani was up to in the Ukraine."

Lev Parnass was arrested and charged with federal campaign finance violations last month. Prosecutors say he used a shell company to donate money to a pro-Trump election committee and was involved in a successful effort to pressure Trump into firing the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

His lawyer told Reuters Parnas is ready to cooperate with Congressional investigators and provide records and testimony.

The are currently no more hearings scheduled for the House Intelligence Committee.

That committee's report goes to the House Judiciary Committee, which could conduct hearings of its own.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. REPUBLICAN REPRESENTATIVE KELLY ARMSTRONG, SAYING:

"As it moves over, over to the Judiciary Committee, they're going to lose more and more of that control.

Republicans on that panel, such as Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota, are optimistic that rules will give them greater sway in the proceedings.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. REPUBLICAN REPRESENTATIVE KELLY ARMSTRONG, SAYING:

"There are rules where the president gets to have his lawyer and those types of things. Now I get a little concerned about those because with all of those rules, the chairman has absolute veto power. But if they continue at this pace eventually it will end up at the Senate and they're going to go there."

The Judiciary Committee would draft any articles of impeachment against Trump before they would go to the full House for a vote.

That would set up a trial in the Republican-controlled Senate.

So far, no Republicans have shown signs of voting against Trump.

Democrats accuse the president of abusing the power of his office to pressure a vulnerable ally into doing his political bidding.

Trump's handpicked envoy to the EU, Gordon Sondland told Congress that Giuliani, working at the behest of Trump, told Ukrainians they would not get a White House meeting with Trump unless they delivered on the requested investigations.

Giuliani and Sondlands efforts deeply alarmed career diplomats and officials at the U.S. national security council.

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Rudy Giuliani and other Trump administration officials including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have adamantly refused to comply with Congressional subpoenas for documents and testimony.

Call logs released last week in response to a lawsuit show communications between Pompeo and Giuliani.

Trump has denied wrongdoing and called the investigation a hoax.

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