Senate Democrats proposed calling White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton to testify in a weekslong Senate impeachment trial focused on President Donald Trump’s controversial actions with Ukraine.
In a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Sunday, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer suggested the Senate engage in a ‘fair and honest’ trial in an offer that signals that Democrats are seeking an evidentiary trial.
Currently, Trump faces one abuse of power charge and an obstruction of Congress charge over his reported efforts to pressure Ukraine officials to investigate political rival, Joe Biden, while withholding military aid.
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (pictured) and Senate Democrats propose a weekslong impeachment trial with at testimonies from four witnesses
The proposal was announced in a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (pictured) on Sunday
It is believed that Trump will likely be impeached by the Democrat controlled House, but will be acquitted in a Senate trial where Republicans hold the majority.
Democrats want testimony from Bolton, who labelled the alternative foreign policy spearheaded by Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and others as a ‘drug deal’ he wanted no parts of. He left his position at The White House in September.
John Bolton (left) and Mick Mulvaney (right) are among those named by Senate Democrats that could testify during the Senate impeachment trial
They also want to hear from Mulvaney, who has acknowledged that military aid designated to Ukraine was being held up.
House Democrats have previously subpoenaed all four officials, but none testified.
Schumer said Democrats ‘would of course be open’ to testimony from anyone with direct knowledge of aid to Ukraine if House prosecutors or Trump’s lawyers requested it.
Sen. Ted Cruz said Sunday that Trump should be able to call witnesses like the whistleblower, who initially reported Trump’s phone call, and Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.
Hunter was on the board of a Ukrainian energy company while his father was vice president and Trump, without any evidence, has claimed that Biden had a Ukrainian prosecutor fired because the prosecutor was probing into the energy company.
President Donald Trump (pictured) believes the impeachment process will be a stain on his legacy, even if he is acquitted of his charges
Trump has repeatedly condemned the impeachment inquiry and reportedly told confidants that even if he is acquitted, it will stain his legacy.
In the same vein, Trump believes that impeachment could bolster his political hold during re-election, citing campaign data that his numbers have increased in battle ground states since the process began.
McConnell has indicated that he wants a quick trial without calling witnesses, as Republicans fear it would become a political spectacle.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally, has also expressed his desire for a speedy trial and warned that calling witnesses could mean Trump administration officials, like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, could be forced to testify.
‘I’d tell the president, if somebody is ready to acquit you, I’d sort of get out of the way,’ Graham said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (pictured): ‘I understand the president’s frustration, but I think what’s best for the country is to get this thing over with’
‘I understand the president’s frustration, but I think what’s best for the country is to get this thing over with. I clearly made up my mind. I’m not trying to hide the fact that I have disdain for the accusations in the process. So I don’t need any witnesses.’
Schumer and Democrats have hit back at Republican Senators who have signaled that they already know how they will vote despite not witnessing proceedings yet.
Schumer said in his letter: ‘Senate Democrats believe strongly, and I trust Senate Republicans agree, that this trial must be one that is fair, that considers all of the relevant facts, and that exercises the Senate’s ‘sole Power of Impeachment’ under the Constitution with integrity and dignity.’
Schumer (pictured): ‘The trial must be one that not only hears all of the evidence and adjudicates the case fairly; it must also pass the fairness test with the American people’
‘The trial must be one that not only hears all of the evidence and adjudicates the case fairly; it must also pass the fairness test with the American people.’
Schumer, who proposed the Senate proceedings begin January 6, and McConnell are expected to meet early this week to consider how the Senate trial would proceed
If an agreement is not reached, the Senate will be forced to vote at each step of the process, with each quote requiring 51 votes.
Republicans control 53 seats, but several have said they want a full trial.