Ex-Trump chief of staff: Senate trial without witnesses 'a job only half done'

Former White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE said Friday that ending the impeachment trial against President TrumpDonald TrumpSenate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale Crenshaw slams House Freedom Caucus members as 'grifters,' 'performance artists' Senate confirms Biden's nominee to lead Customs and Border Protection MORE without calling in witnesses is “a job only half done.”

Kelly made the comments at an event at Drew University in New Jersey just hours before the Senate is expected to vote down a push by Democrats to bring in witnesses for the proceedings. 

“In my view, they kind of leave themselves open to a lot of criticism,” he said, NJ Advance reported


Kelly responded to a Tuesday Quinnipiac University poll that reported three-quarters of U.S. voters support calling witnesses in the Senate trial. Several GOP senators who have advocated against the move argue that the public will decide Trump’s fate in the presidential election, though Kelly argues that they are avoiding their congressional duties. 

“If I was advising the United States Senate, I would say, 'If you don’t respond to 75 percent of the American voters and have witnesses, it’s a job only half done,” he said. “You open yourself up forever as a Senate that shirks its responsibilities.”

Kelly was Trump's chief of staff from June of 2017 to January of last year and was replaced by acting Office of Management and Budget Director Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyJan. 6 committee issues latest round of subpoenas for rally organizers The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - To vote or not? Pelosi faces infrastructure decision Jan. 6 panel subpoenas 11, including Pierson, other rally organizers MORE, whom Democrats have said they would like to see testify before the Senate.

They also seek the testimony of former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonWhen will Biden declare America's 'One China, One Taiwan' policy? India's S-400 missile system problem Overnight Defense & National Security — GOP unhappy with Afghan vetting MORE, whose forthcoming White House memoir reportedly backs allegations that Trump sought to use hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Ukraine to pressure the nation into announcing investigations that would benefit him politically.

Earlier this week, Kelly spoke at an event in Florida and said that he believes the scenes described in a manuscript of Bolton's book.