Hunter Biden and More Could Be Part of the Senate Impeachment Trial
The Senate impeachment trial is going to run very differently than the investigation that the House conducted. For one, witnesses will be called beyond those that the Democrats actually want to hear from. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader has left the door wide open for Republicans to call various key witnesses, including Hunter Biden.
Mitch McConnell told a number of reporters that he can’t imagine that only Democrats have people that they want to hear from appearing before Congress, and he’s right.
The easiest way to read into this is that those who are in favor of impeachment will call witnesses that will help the case against Trump, including John Bolton, the former national security advisor. However, those opposing the impeachment will be able to call on witnesses as well, including Hunter Biden. After all, it is believed by many Republicans that Biden has all sorts of information that validates Trump’s concern regarding corruption in Ukraine, particularly as it involves former VP Joe Biden.
Senator Rand Paul has recently suggested that Hunter Biden needs to be called to the witness stand. Kasie Hunt, the NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent was the one responsible for breaking the news because of asking McConnell whether he would be calling Biden to the stand. His comments came shortly after knocking any talk of calling additional impeachment witnesses.
It all comes down to what is found within the articles of impeachment. McConnell has been very vocal about determining whether the case is weak or strong. If there is the need to call a large number of witnesses, particularly from the Democratic side, it shows that the impeachment case is weak. If the case is strong, he has said that there is no need for a “judge and the jury” to reopen the investigation. Further, he said that if the case is weak, House Democrats should not have impeached the president, to begin with.
At the moment, GOP senators seem to be at odds according to Politico. They are not sure how to handle calling witnesses within the upcoming trial. Many seem to be in favor of calling particular witnesses regardless of what Mitch McConnell has identified.
Sen. Rand Paul has also warned some of his colleagues to say that there’s no way to vote for Bolton without voting for the witnesses that Trump wants to see.
Mitch McConnell has confirmed that it is highly likely that the Senate impeachment trial will begin January 21. This means that the GOP has to make quick decisions about how they are going to proceed.
The biggest problem that it appears McConnell has is going through the articles of impeachment now that they have finally been delivered. Pelosi made it extremely difficult to be quite quick about any of it considering that she held onto them for as long as she did – and it was all for nothing. It’s all the more reason why McConnell and many of the GOP Senators believe that the impeachment case is weak. If the Dems want so many more witnesses, it’s likely that they need to do so as a way of strengthening the case.
As Rand Paul has already shown, he knows that it is going to be a tit-for-tat when it comes to witnesses. If the Democrats want to bring on witnesses that are going to strengthen the impeachment case, there needs to be a balance. As such, there are going to be witnesses that the Republicans want to see as well. This means that there is a very real possibility that Hunter Biden will get called to the stand because he is such a valuable piece to identify what kind of investigation was happening in Ukraine that would lead Trump to making the call.
The Senate impeachment trial is certainly going to be a major political event – and it’s likely that there will be a number of key witnesses called as both sides rush to strengthen or weaken the case. It will also pull quite a few Senators into Capitol Hill when they could be working on their campaign trail – like Sanders and Warren. This is one of the reasons why many have said that Pelosi shouldn’t have held onto the articles of impeachment. It could be just what Trump needs to get more votes as Sanders and Warren need to be on the trail right now, particularly with the Iowa caucuses closing in just weeks from now.