The Democrat-controlled House passed both articles of impeachment — obstruction of Congress and abuse of power — against President Donald Trump almost a month ago after carrying out the most partisan witch hunt in modern American history.
Now the president will get a quick and fair trial in the Republican-controlled Senate — or will he?
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell revealed on Tuesday night that he doesn’t yet have enough votes to block the calling of impeachment witnesses.
The White House’s plans for a speedy impeachment trial were thrown into doubt Tuesday following new explosive revelations from ex-national security adviser John Bolton.
Bolton is back in the news this week after a cherry-picked snippet from his upcoming book magically leaked to the media during the middle of the Senate impeachment trial.
In the leaked pieces, Bolton reportedly wrote that President Donald Trump told him personally that he was withholding aid for Ukraine over favors he requested from them.
Now, McConnell says he doesn’t have 51 Republican votes to block a motion to call witnesses in the trial.
A source with knowledge of McConnell’s comments confirmed to Fox News that the Kentucky Republican told people in a private meeting Tuesday that the GOP did not have the votes to block impeachment witnesses.
A second source stressed that McConnell said he didn’t yet have the votes, with other sources saying Senate GOP leadership didn’t think the fight was over, and conversations were ongoing. The Wall Street Journal first reported McConnell’s comments.
In the case that witnesses are called in the trial, Republicans are working on a “Plan B,” or a one-for-one witness swap.
For example, if the Democrats seek to call Bolton, Republicans might seek to question Hunter Biden or Rep. Adam Schiff over his panel’s contacts with the whistleblower.
That proposal could afford moderate Republicans the political cover of voting in favor of witnesses, while ultimately rejecting a witness package.
It has not been revealed which Senate Republicans want to hear from witnesses, but it’s likely a few of these notorious Never-Trumpers:
- Susan Collins of Maine
- Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
- Mitt Romney of Utah
- Lamar Alexander of Tennessee
Why is this a big deal?
Republicans control a 53-47 majority in the upper chamber.
To impeach Trump in the Senate, 67 Senators would need to vote in favor of removing the president. That means all 47 Democrats and 20 Republicans would need to vote in favor of it.
That’s never going to happen — even Democrats know that.
Democrats are targeting these 4 Never-Trumpers in the Senate because they are trying to delay and draw out the impeachment trial as long as possible to hurt the president politically going into the election.
Republicans only control 53 Senate seats, meaning just 3 Republicans voting with Democrats could have a major impact.
And there are already 4 Never-Trump lawmakers who have signaled they may vote with Democrats to drag out the bogus impeachment hearings.
We want a quick trial that clears Trump’s name — that is it. If these Republicans waver, there will be hell to pay come November.