Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Tuesday that he has the votes to move forward with a senate trial related to the impeachment of President Donald Trump on his terms.
McConnell said that he has secured enough votes from his Republican colleagues to proceed on without calling additional witnesses. Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York has asked for McConnell to allow him to call several witnesses for the trial, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has continued to hold on to the articles of impeachment in hopes to gain leverage over the senate trial. (RELATED: The Tide Is Turning Against Democrats On Impeachment)
McConnell’s announcement came a day after moderate Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said they would support allowing the trial to begin before witnesses were announced.
McConnell tells reporters “we have the votes” for “phase one” of an impeachment trial which would allow for opening arguments by both sides and written questions from senators.
Adds that the question of calling witnesses will be addressed after arguments.
— Nate Madden (@NateOnTheHill) January 7, 2020
House Democrats voted to impeach Trump last month on a near-party line vote and have demanded that the senate allow testimony from witnesses they believe have knowledge of the president’s decision to withhold aid from Ukraine over the Summer.
One of those witnesses is former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who stated Monday that he would comply with a senate subpoena to testify.