Senate Republicans don't have the votes to block impeachment witnesses, according to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), paving the way for testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton - as well as an argument over whether the Bidens should be called as witnesses in the Senate trial of President Trump.
Witness testimony pushed by Congressional Democrats was largely considered off the table until an 11th hour leak of Bolton's manuscript in which the former Trump handler claims the president tied military aid to Ukraine to an investigation into allegations against the Bidens.
"If you don’t believe the newspaper report, call the witnesses," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) of Bolton's account, which was first reported in the New York Times on Sunday evening. Schumer added that the witnesses Democrats have wanted to call include Bolton and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who oversaw the pause in funds as head of the Office of Management and Budget.
Republicans have said this week that if the Senate votes for more testimony, they want to call witnesses including Mr. Biden and his son, Hunter.
Sens. Mitt Romney (R., Utah) and Susan Collins (R., Maine) indicated on Monday that they were likely to favor witnesses. Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) and Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.) remained open to the idea.
“I think that John Bolton probably has something to offer us,” Ms. Murkowski said Tuesday. -WSJ
According to Rep. Mark Meadows, the leak of Bolton's manuscript is a "desperate attempt to resuscitate" Democrats' "dying political dreams."
"This leak was designed for one purpose and one purpose only, and that was to try to manipulate the thinking of my Republican colleagues in the Senate to encourage them to open it up and provide for more witnesses....," Meadows said at a press conference, adding "My hypothesis is that this is part of a coordinated leak in order to change the narrative." (via PJ Media)
The question now is how the 'establishment' plans to handle the argument over whether the Bidens should testify after refusing for months to look at the underlying case.