KEY POINTS

  • Trump thinks the Senate should allow witnesses, including the Bidens
  • McConnell has pushed against permitting witness testimonies during the trial
  • Pelosi plans to send articles of impeachment to the Senate next week

As Republicans and Democrats grapple over whether or not to allow witness testimonies during the impeachment trial, more Republicans are breaking with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The latest to do so? President Donald Trump.

On Thursday, Trump again stated that he would like several people to testify during his impeachment trial, including former Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). He believes that if Democrats are allowed to call witnesses, Trump should be able to call those he views as being behind the impeachment “hoax,” as he characterizes it.

In the past week, both Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and his former national security adviser, John Bolton, publicly stated that they would be willing to testify in the Senate if subpoenaed. Given both men’s close proximity to the president and his team during the period during which he allegedly pressured Ukraine into investigating Hunter Biden, their testimonies would likely serve the Democrats’ case very well.

As for Trump, he seems to be of the mind that this impeachment process could be derailed if he could prove that his dealings with Ukraine were justified; that’s why Trump wants to subpoena both Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, for testimony. The problem is that Trump seems unwilling or unable to separate rumors that the Bidens were entangled in corruption in Ukraine from why he’s being impeached – both his improper dealings with Ukraine and his obstruction of the House’s investigation.

For Trump, the ends appear to justify the means. If he or someone in his camp could prove that the Bidens were involved in shady practices in Ukraine, Trump believes it would cancel out worries about the ways he acquired that proof. Of course, that is not the case – the Bidens are not directly part of the impeachment trial.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced her plans to hand over the articles of impeachment next week. Although the Democrats were unable to get Senate Republicans to agree to allow witness testimonies during the trial, Pelosi said that she hopes a draft of the rules will be released before the proceedings begin.

The second phase of the US-China trade agreement may have to wait until after this year's elections, US President Donald Trump says The second phase of the US-China trade agreement may have to wait until after this year's elections, US President Donald Trump says Photo: AFP / Nicholas Kamm