Chris Christie says he could 'definitely' see Trump targeting GOP senators who vote for additional witnesses

Chris Christie says he could 'definitely' see Trump targeting GOP senators who vote for additional witnesses
© Getty Images

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) says in a new interview that President TrumpDonald John TrumpWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Democrats duke it out in most negative debate so far MORE might target Republican senators who buck party leadership and vote for additional witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial for primary challenges.

In an interview with ABC News, Christie said he could "definitely" see the president at least encouraging primary challengers if not seeking them out himself.

"You could very well see the president encouraging or creating primaries against senators that are up this year if they went and voted the other way," Christie said Thursday.

ADVERTISEMENT

"I could definitely see him at least attempting to do that," he continued.

Trump has remained vocally opposed to the prospect of former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonSchumer on Trump intel shakeup: 'Disgrace,' 'closer to a banana republic' Trump directly sought to block publication of Bolton's book: WaPo 'Parasite' studio fires back after Trump criticism: 'He can't read' MORE or other key witnesses testifying in the ongoing impeachment trial. 

Some moderate Republican senators such as Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyLawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response Romney: Trump administration unprepared for coronavirus outbreak Ex-Romney adviser praises economic populism MORE (Utah) have signaled that they are open to calling new witnesses to testify. 

Bolton in particular is seen by Democrats as a top witness due to recent reports of claims made in his upcoming book. According to the unpublished manuscript, Bolton claims that Trump made clear that nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine would be released pending Ukraine's president launching of criminal investigations into Trump's political rivals.

ADVERTISEMENT

Democrats including Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOcasio-Cortez: Trump would 'never' say to her face some of the shots he takes at her on Twitter Oversight Committee room to be dedicated to late Rep. Elijah Cummings Lawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response MORE (D-Calif.) have argued that the president will not receive a fair trial unless additional witnesses are considered.

"You cannot be acquitted if you don’t have a trial. You don’t have a trial if you don’t have witnesses and documentation," she tweeted Thursday afternoon. "If Republican Senators choose a cover-up, the American people and history will judge it with the harshness it deserves."

Senate Republicans are planning on a vote to call witnesses that will take place on Friday after the Senate has heard the closing arguments from both the House managers and Trump's defense.