Schumer Vows to Force Votes on Witnesses for Senate Impeachment Trial: ‘Republicans May Run But They Can’t Hide’

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer speaks to the media on Capitol Hill, June 18, 2019. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Senator Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) said Tuesday that Democrats will force votes on their desired witnesses at the outset of the impeachment trial against President Trump, even as it seems Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) has garnered enough support to delay the votes on witnesses until later in the trial.

“Make no mistake, on the question of witnesses and documents, Republicans may run but they can’t hide,” Schumer said in comments reported by The Hill. “There will be votes at the beginning on whether to call the four witnesses we’ve proposed and subpoena the documents we’ve identified.”

McConnell is attempting to pass two resolutions to determine the parameters of the Senate trial. The first would set up rules for the trial, and after opening arguments there would be a vote on a second resolution that would determine which witnesses, if any, would be called to testify.

While Democrats have certain witnesses they would like to hear from, including former White House national security adviser John Bolton, McConnell and other Republicans are aiming to get the trial done quickly, without witnesses. Senator Mitt Romney (R., Utah) is the only Republican who has publicly called on Bolton to testify.

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“I would like to be able to hear from John Bolton,” Romney said on Tuesday. “What the process is to make that happen, I don’t have an answer for you.”

Moderate Senat Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who were widely viewed as potential supporters of Bolton’s testimony, have stated they would rather wait for a resolution on the parameters of the trial before calling witnesses.

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