House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) appears to be getting ready to transmit the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate, which would allow the upper chamber to begin its trial of the charges.
That will set off a fight between senators of whether or not to request new witnesses and documents in the trial.
“My colleagues can’t have it both ways. Calling for some, while blocking others. If we are going to give a platform to witnesses the Dems demand, I look forward to forcing votes to call Hunter Biden and many more.”
My colleagues can’t have it both ways. Calling for some, while blocking others. If we are going to give a platform to witnesses the Dems demand, I look forward to forcing votes to call Hunter Biden and many more! https://t.co/hrOzVyiG9x— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 14, 2020
Paul shared a Politico story that said he told lawmakers last week, “Don’t think you can just vote for Bolton and not the witnesses Trump wants.”
The issue of whether or not to call for new witnesses and documents has become a sticking point in the Senate’s impeachment trial.
Senate Democrats have called for new witnesses, citing a variety of new documents related to the decision to put a hold on military aid to Ukraine as a proof that there is more evidence that could give better insight into the decision to place a hold on the funds.
However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has rejected calls to specific witnesses thus far — opting instead to pass a rules package governing the trial and decide on if and who to call as witnesses later in the trial.
Earlier in the impeachment process, Senate Republicans mulled the idea of drawing out the trial for weeks, but later changed their calculus and have called for a swift trial based on the findings from House Democrats’ proceedings.
“I’m not going to be voting for witnesses prior to the opening arguments. But I presume I’ll be voting for that after,” Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) told Politico.
Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) said he wants to deal with the question of calling witnesses later in the trial, “We want to have the Clinton rule applied to the beginning of the process and then deal with the issue of witnesses at a later stage.”
Pelosi is scheduled to meet with House Democrats on Tuesday to talk about when to send the articles to the Senate, which means the trial could start as early as this week.