Mitch McConnell admitted to Republican Senators that he doesn’t have the votes to block witnesses and end Trump’s impeachment trial.
But at a meeting of all Republican senators late Tuesday, GOP leaders told their conference that they don’t currently have the votes to prevent witnesses from being called, people familiar with the matter said. Republicans had hoped to wrap up the trial with an acquittal of the president by this week, but Democrats have said he should appear under oath to offer a firsthand account of the president’s motivations for freezing aid to Ukraine—a matter at the heart of the impeachment case.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said the vote total wasn’t where it needed to be on blocking witnesses or documents, these people said. He had a card with “yes,” “no,” and “maybes” marked on it, apparently a whip count, but he didn’t show it to senators.
Senate Republicans were freaking out after their private lunch and demanding an end to the trial. The reason why was McConnell doesn’t have the votes to block witnesses from being called, and Trump’s supporters are terrified of what could be coming down the road if witnesses and documents become a reality.
Trump and McConnell thought that they could hold a quick sham trial that would result in an acquittal. Instead, they are facing a real trial that could go on for weeks to come. The trial looks like to continue through Trump’s State of the Union, and there is nothing that Mitch McConnell can do to stop it.
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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