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McConnell Tells Caucus They Lack the Votes to Block Impeachment Witnesses

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters after the weekly policy lunch in Washington, D.C., May 14, 2019. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Senator Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) on Tuesday said he doesn’t have the votes to block a resolution to allow witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial, according to multiple reports.

McConnell made the admission in talks with Senate Republicans after President Trump’s defense team concluded its arguments.

If the Senate votes to summon witnesses, Democrats will likely attempt to call on former White House national security adviser John Bolton to give testimony in the trial. On Sunday the New York Times reported that Bolton wrote in the manuscript of his upcoming book that Trump had conditioned aid to Ukraine on that country’s commitment to conduct investigations into Joe and Hunter Biden.

Republicans may react to a subpoena of Bolton by summoning Hunter Biden and the government whistleblower, whose complaint sparked the impeachment inquiry, to testify.

“Those are the ones that I want to call,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) said on Monday of Hunter Biden and the whistleblower, despite having told reporters on Friday that he would vote against summoning Hunter Biden. “If we add to the record, we are going to do it completely.”

Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) concurred during an interview on Fox & Friends.

“My view is this — if the Senate decides to call witnesses later this week . . . we need to hear from Hunter Biden, he is right at the center of this,” Hawley said. “What was he doing in Ukraine? What was he doing with Burisma?”

Hawley also wrote on Twitter, “if the Senate is going to call witnesses, then I will ask to hear from Adam Schiff, Hunter Biden, Joe Biden & the whistleblower, at a minimum.”

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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