Schumer says he’ll ask for votes on calling Mulvaney, Bolton to testify
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday he will ask for votes during the impeachment trial calling for witnesses to testify, including acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton.
“I am allowed to ask for votes. I will ask during the impeachment proceeding for a vote on whether Mulvaney should testify, and whether Bolton should testify,” Schumer said during an interview with MSNBC.
Schumer predicted that Republicans would be “in a real dilemma” over the efforts by Democrats to get witnesses to testify. A motion to call a witness as part of the Senate trial would only take a simple majority, meaning Democrats need to win over four GOP senators to get to 51 votes.
“Asking for witnesses, something so reasonable … I expect we’ll get a bunch of Republicans to vote with us on these requests,” Schumer added.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says he will force votes on Senate floor over witness testimony from WH Chief of Staff Mulvaney, fmr. National Security Adviser Bolton, and others. pic.twitter.com/GMfOrVYYKQ
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) December 18, 2019
Schumer has outlined four witnesses Democrats want to hear from as part of the impeachment trial against President Trump, which is expected to start in January: Bolton, Mulvaney, Mulvaney’s senior adviser Robert Blair and budget staffer Michael Duffey.
Schumer is also asking for one resolution that would be passed at the start of the trial that would determine both the procedure and any specific witnesses that would be called. During the Clinton trial, senators passed two resolutions: one, on the process, and a second calling specific witnesses.
GOP senators have indicated that they want to delay a decision on witnesses until after the trial has started, similar to the Clinton impeachment. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) went a step further on Tuesday and said he doesn’t want any witnesses during the trial.
No GOP senator has backed Schumer’s witness request so far.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) told reporters on Tuesday that she hopes McConnell and Schumer come up with a deal, but sidestepped taking a position on witnesses.
“What has to happen is Senator McConnell and Senator Schumer need to figure out if they can come together with a proposal that we, the Senate, can move forward to support,” Murkowski said.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), viewed as another potential GOP swing vote, said he was “indifferent” on whether or not the Senate passes one resolution governing both process and witnesses, or handles them in separate resolutions.
“Leader McConnell apparently wants to do it in two parts,” he added.