Is It Over? GOP Reportedly Has Votes To Block Witnesses In Early End To Impeachment

Hours after Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said Hunter Biden would be a "relevant witness" in President Trump's impeachment trial, Senate Republicans seem to think there aren't enough votes to call witnesses following a morning meeting between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) which lasted approximately 30 minutes.

According to The Hill, the meeting "was seen as a sign by several senators that Democrats will fail to convince four Republicans to join them in calling for witnesses. Without a vote to hear from witnesses, the trial could end as soon as Friday."

Murkowski, one of a handful of Senate Republicans thought to be leaning towards witnesses, appears to have changed her mind.

If Dianne Feinstein doesn't corner her in the hallway, that is...

"We’re going to get it done by Friday, hopefully," said Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) following a Senate GOP lunch meeting on Wednesday which was held after McConnell and Murkowski spoke.

"I think I can say the mood is good," said Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), adding "If I had to guess, no witnesses."

"We’ll be in a place where I think everyone is going to have their mind made up and I believe that we’ll be able to move to a verdict and the witness question will be clear at that point," Braun added.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) - who has forcefully advocated for testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton after a leaked manuscript from his upcoming book claims President Trump directly tied Ukraine aid to investigations into the Bidens - said nothing after the lunch, which Murkowski did not attend.

Romney and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) are both expected to back witnesses. Murkowski has been seen as a third possible vote, though she had not announced any decision. 

Instead of discussing the possibility of having former national security adviser John Bolton appear as a witness in the trial at Wednesday's meeting, lawmakers talked about voting Friday to move quickly to an up-or-down vote on two articles of impeachment.

“There was no discussion about that today,” Rounds said. 

Instead, Rounds said the discussion was about how “we’re moving forward.” -The Hill

Democrats, meanwhile, have said there's no way the impeachment trial would be fair without witnesses. 

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