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Rand Paul Warns Republicans of Electoral Consequences if They Back Dem Witnesses But Refuse to Call Hunter Biden

Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) is trailed by reporters as he arrives for the weekly Senate Republican caucus luncheon at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., May 22, 2018. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) warned fellow caucus members that voting against subpoenaing President Trump’s preferred witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial would be tantamount t0 “voting to lose your election.”

“If you don’t want to vote and you think you’re going to have to vote against Hunter Biden, you should just vote against witnesses, period,” Paul said, adding that his “first preference” would be a trial with no witnesses.

“. . . If they insist on having people like Bolton coming forward, my insistence will be not just one witness. But that the president should be able to call any witnesses that he deems necessary to his defense,” Paul stated.

Last week, McConnell signaled that Republicans, who hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate, had secured the minimum 51 votes required to move forward with a trial mirroring that of former president Bill Clinton, in which a vote to call witnesses took place after opening arguments. But a vote to allow witnesses to be called seems likely, after GOP leadership suggested Republicans “generally are not interested in the motion to dismiss.”

Paul said he believed an immediate dismissal was destined to fail, saying “there might be 10” Republicans who want to call witnesses.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democrats have been clamoring to allow witnesses like John Bolton to testify. They’ve also argued that newly released documents should be admitted to illuminate Rudy Giuliani and Lev Parnas’s attempts to oust former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

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