Wednesday, January 29, 2020

GOP reportedly lacks votes to block witness testimony in impeachment trial

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
Senate Republicans may not have the votes to prevent witnesses from testifying in the Senate impeachment trial, according to multiple reports.
The Wall Street Journal first reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told his members in a closed-door meeting Tuesday afternoon that the votes weren’t firmly committed to defeat the Democrats’ push to include new witnesses and documents.
President Trump and his allies were hoping for a speedy conclusion to the trial, while Democrats were aiming to chip off at least four Republicans to support their motion.
Senators will vote on whether or not to have witnesses on Friday, and then will need to vote on each individual witness proposed.
The New York Times reported Sunday that former National Security Adviser John Bolton claims in a forthcoming book that the president, in an August 2019 discussion, railed about Ukraine’s efforts against him in the 2016 election and said he did not want $391 million in military aid released to Kyiv until it cooperated in investigations.
The revelations added fuel to the ongoing debate amongst lawmakers and ramped up the pressure on a handful of Republicans that were on the fence about hearing from witnesses, in particular Mr. Bolton.
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