Republican senators said that a deal on witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial against President Donald Trump would be a group of individuals that would include witnesses the Republicans want to hear from.
“If we need to hear from more people, it’s going to be a group of individuals, but 51 senators will make that decision on Friday,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), a top Republican in the Senate, told reporters on Jan. 27.
The decision will be made after Trump’s team gives another day of arguments and senators have 16 hours to submit written questions to both sides and hear answers.
Another Republican said that any deal would be an even trade.
“We get the witnesses, it’ll be a one-for-one or a two-for-two,” Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) said.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said while he doesn’t think calling additional witnesses is necessary, the most important witness would be Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden.
“The House impeachment managers have presented their case, and they haven’t come remotely close to meeting their burden of proof,” said Cruz.
“Now that being said, if the Senate later this week, when we vote on witnesses, decides to go down the road to additional witnesses, I think at a minimum the most important witness for the Senate to hear from is Hunter Biden.”
Cruz said he doesn’t think the Senate needs to hear from John Bolton, the former national security adviser.
Details from Bolton’s upcoming book were leaked to the media, in which Bolton made a number of accusations that Democrats say bolsters the case to call him as a witness.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told reporters that Bolton is “apparently a direct witness to the president’s tying military aid to an investigation” into the Bidens.
“We could not have made a more powerful case for calling him than the case the president’s lawyers just did in trying to contest that link between military aid and investigations,” Schiff said.
“They underscored the importance of John Bolton as a witness who would corroborate” the House’s case against Trump, he said.
The leaked book details have caused “a real shift” in the positions of some Republican senators on the witness matter, Schiff said. “I think it’s hard for them to maintain that they wanted a fair trial, wanted to know all the facts, when there’s a witness who said, ‘I’m ready, I got something to say’; we got an outline of what he wants to say. It’s really hard to say we’re not going to hear that.”