Senate Republicans do not plan to call witnesses such as Hunter Biden and the anonymous whistleblower — key figures President Trump wants to testify — at a possible impeachment trial, according to a report.
While the GOP holds 53 seats in the 100-member chamber, a majority vote is required to call witnesses.
There is no “appetite” among Republicans to try to subpoena witnesses such as Biden that Democrats blocked during hearings in the House, the Washington Examiner reported on Tuesday.
Instead, noting that many GOP senators have already made up their minds about acquitting Trump of charges presented by House Democrats Tuesday, the Senate may not call any witnesses and proceed directly to a vote.
“Here’s what I want to avoid: This thing going on longer than it needs to,” Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told the newspaper. “I want to end this.”
The vote could come as soon as Democrats make their case for Trump’s removal and the White House presents its defense to prevent partisan rancor that could draw out a Senate trial.
“At that point, I would expect that most members would be ready to vote and wouldn’t need more information,” said Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming. “Many people have their minds pretty well made up.”
A two-thirds majority vote is needed to remove the president from office.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said he wasn’t “aware” of any conversations between Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell about specific witnesses.
“It’s pretty clear the President wants a trial … in fact, he’s even talked about some of the witnesses we want to call whether it be Adam Schiff, the whistleblower, Hunter Biden or Joe Biden. He wants to move forward and we’ll see what form that takes in the near future I’m sure,” Gidley told reporters at the White House.
House Democrats earlier Tuesday announced two articles of impeachment against Trump – for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
They claim Trump abused his office by withholding military aid to Ukraine to coerce its leader, Volodymyr Zelensky to launch an investigation into the former vice president and his son, Hunter, who worked for a Ukrainian natural gas company.
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