Senate starts infrastructure debate amid 11th-hour drama
McConnell opens door for Hunter Biden testimony at Trump trial
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says Republicans could subpoena Hunter Biden to testify about his business dealings with a Ukrainian gas company if Democrats insist on having witnesses such as former national security adviser John Bolton testify at the Senate impeachment trial.
"We'll be dealing with the witness issue at the appropriate time into the trial, and I think it's certainly appropriate to point out that both sides would want to call witnesses that they wanted to hear from," McConnell told reporters Tuesday when asked about GOP senators who want Hunter Biden, former Vice President Joe Biden's son, to testify.
"When you get to that issue, I can't imagine that only the witnesses that our Democratic colleagues would want to call would be called," he said.
The GOP leader also noted "there is little or no sentiment in the Republican conference for a motion to dismiss" the articles of impeachment immediately, adding that "our members feel that we have an obligation to listen to the arguments."
McConnell confirmed that all 53 Republican senators support passing an organizing resolution at the start of President Trump's trial that would set up time for the House prosecutors and the president's defense team to lay out their opening arguments and for senators to submit questions to the chairman in writing.
Votes on subpoenaing witnesses such as Bolton or acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney will be considered after what McConnell calls "phase one of the trial."
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Monday night said he will force a vote on subpoenaing Hunter Biden if Democrats insist on hearing from senior administration officials such as Bolton and Mulvaney.
"My colleagues can't have it both ways. Calling for some, while blocking others. If we are going to give a platform to witnesses the Dems demand, I look forward to forcing votes to call Hunter Biden and many more!" Paul tweeted.