The Hill reports that Republicans are threatening to weaponize a fight on Senate impeachment witnesses amid growing concerns that moderates within their caucus could help Democrats call former national security adviser John Bolton to testify.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said if GOP senators support calling people “who are unhappy about being fired,” Paul speaking of ex-National Security Advisor John Bolton, “then I think the president should get to call his [witnesses] and we should have votes on those.”
“The president gets to call anybody he thinks would be good for his defense, the prosecution can call who they want, but I don’t think we should selectively call witnesses that don’t like the president,” he finished.
Louisiana Republican Sen. John Kennedy argued, “I assume that if we’re going to be fair … that if we get into having witnesses and evidence that both the prosecution and the defense will be able to weigh in as well.”
And declared, “I feel pretty confident, though I don’t know it for a fact, that the defense team is going to want to call its witnesses, including but not limited to the Bidens, [and] as a fact witness the whistleblower.”
While Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) declined to say if he would be willing to engage in a trade where Democrats could call Bolton in exchange for Republicans calling Hunter Biden. The Senate’s number two claimed, “They haven’t made any offer about any witnesses or any documents.”
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) expressed to Sean Hannity on Fox News, “If they are going to bring witnesses in, we’re not going to do what the House did of a one-sided show trial, and I think it should be at a bare minimum one-for-one.” Plus added, “So if the prosecution brings … John Bolton, then President Trump can bring a witness. He can bring Hunter Biden.”
Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) stated, “I suspect we’ll have one witness at a time that we’ll vote on. And Ted of course has floated the idea of witness reciprocity. Whether it’s one-for-one, or two-for-two or four-for-four.” Cramer continued, “I guess I would be surprised if there weren’t witnesses,” noting his preference would be that there are no witnesses.
But Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri made clear, “I think [Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)] he’s done a good job listening and trying to understand that everybody has their own unique set of considerations here as to how they move forward.”
As he concluded, “By doing that [he] has all of us in the same place on the rules that we’ll vote on next Tuesday. That’s a good way to start.”