Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was just tossed an impeachment curveball that could send him right back the dugout for a pep talk.
McConnell, along with a vast majority of his fellow Republicans, is hoping to speed through the coming impeachment trial of Donald Trump with as little disruption to the day-to-day operations of the government as possible. This would be a bare-bones trial, where the facts would be allowed as they stand, with McConnell already promising a vindication of the President.
Now, however, former White House insider John Bolton has made a statement that could upend this plan for brevity.
Bolton has been sought by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and other Senate Democrats as a witness in the pending impeachment trial, along with other members of the administration, including acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. But the GOP majority has not at this point agreed to witnesses, and the entire process is in a holding pattern as Speaker Nancy Pelosi sits on the impeachment articles.
Still, Bolton’s statement could result in putting additional pressure on Republicans to consider witnesses — already, top Democrats were seizing on his statement to renew their calls for testimony.
“The House has concluded its Constitutional responsibility by adopting Articles of Impeachment related to the Ukraine matter,” Bolton said Monday. “It now falls to the Senate to fulfill its Constitutional obligation to try impeachments, and it does not appear possible that a final judicial resolution of the still-unanswered Constitutional questions can be obtained before the Senate acts.
Given the gravity of Bolton’s insight, it will be difficult for McConnell and others to declare outright that it would be of no use to them. They will, instead, have to argue that the Democrats should have attempted this route during the House’s proceedings.
That argument is not a particularly strong one, and will need to be adopted with care.
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