Is there any chance that the Democrats will be able to see the witness and evidence that Donald Trump has frozen in place and refused the House Democrats’ impeachment trial? Maybe so. There is one traditional senator who has indicated that he will vote for witnesses, but why is that so important?
The Utah Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) who also ran for president, has the skills to bring other Republicans along with him. This influence may be under-rated by both parties. Romney said after the House managers (prosecutorial attorneys) made their opening arguments. CNN reported that the senator said:
‘I think it’s very likely I’ll be in favor of witnesses, but I haven’t made a decision finally yet and I won’t until the testimony is completed.’
When reporters asked him about House Intelligence Committee chair and impeachment hearing lead Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA), Romney replied:
“I just don’t have any comments on the process or the evidence until the trial is over.”
The conservative senator now represents the farthest left senator in office. He has already expressed his negative opinions about Trump. He also said that he wanted to hear from former National Security Adviser John Bolton. The former Trump adviser has offered his willingness to testify. Romney said:
‘I would like to hear from John Bolton and other witnesses, but at the same time I’m comfortable with the Clinton impeachment model when we have opening arguments first and then we have a vote on whether to have witnesses.’
At this point in time, the Democrats would need four GOP senators to move over to their side in order to subpoena witnesses and/or receive evidentiary documents. Those four senators might include Romney and:
‘Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and possibly the Colorado senator most in danger of losing his 2020 vote Cory Gardner (R-CO).’
Collins and Murkowski have have expressed interest in hearing from the witnesses. After all, what trial is really a trial without witnesses and evidence? However, the two women spoke aloud at the conclusion of the Democrats’ opening statements. When Schiff quoted a CBS story saying that Trump warned those who voted with the Democrats would have their heads on a pike, the two were offended.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refused to let the Democrats subpoena witnesses and evidence until after the opening statements and the question-answer period. The proper time would have been prior to those statements. That would have given the senators time to subpoena witnesses, collect documents, and prepare to hear the witnesses.
The Democrats need a 51-49 simple majority vote to get the witnesses and documents:
Of course, McConnell railed against hearing witnesses. He claimed it would “raise constitutional concerns.” A CNN source indicated that McConnell wanted a quick end to the hearing.
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.