Republicans are starting to put together potential deals to take to Democrats for witnesses to appear at Trump’s impeachment trial.
Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.), an influential conservative in the Senate, has spoken with several colleagues in recent days about possibly summoning just two witnesses to President Trump’s impeachment trial, with one called by Republicans and one by Democrats, according to three Republican officials.
McConnell, however, is so far discouraging Toomey’s suggestion from becoming the party’s position. Instead, he told Senate Republicans during Monday’s lunch to wait on any witness deal proposal until after Trump’s legal team is done making its defense on the Senate floor, underscoring a position he has held for weeks, the officials said.
Democrats aren’t going to accept a one for one offer on witnesses. Senate Democrats have a list of four witnesses that they want to hear from, and they are seeking witnesses who can offer new evidence such as Mick Mulvaney, Lev Parnas, and John Bolton. The one for one witness offer will be dead on arrival.
The fact that Republicans are talking about a deal is proof that Mitch McConnell no longer has the votes to keep documents and witnesses out of the impeachment trial. The motion to subpoena documents and witnesses looks more likely to pass than ever.
Mitch McConnell is trying to hold off the inevitable by waiting to cut a deal with Democrats until after Trump’s lawyers make their case. The sham trial looks dead, and it is unlikely that the final vote on the articles of impeachment will happen before Trump’s State Of The Union on February 4th.
Witnesses are more likely than ever to happen. The negotiations will be centered on how many witnesses the Senate will hear from.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association