Schumer accuses GOP of using 'shiny objects' to distract from witness fight

Schumer accuses GOP of using 'shiny objects' to distract from witness fight
© Greg Nash
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) knocked Republicans on Thursday, accusing them of trying to use "so-called outrages" and "shiny objects" as distractions to avoid discussing potential impeachment witnesses. 
 
"I think the case for witnesses and documents is so self-evident that many of my Republican colleagues are desperate to talk about anything else, they are so eager to change [the] conversation," Schumer said. 
 
Schumer said that Republicans were trying to bring up things "irrelevant to a fair trial." 
 
"They try to turn you, the press and the American people away to look at something else that has nothing to do with a trial," Schumer continued. 
 
 
Schumer praised the House managers, particularly House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), saying they had made their case "in precise and devastating detail." 
 
"It may have planted the first seed in their minds that yes, the president did something very wrong here," Schumer said, referring to Republicans. 
 
Senate Republicans forced through rules for the trial earlier this week that punt the decision on calling additional witnesses or compelling the administration to hand over more documents until next week after opening arguments and questions from senators. 
 
Democrats will need four Republican senators if they want to successfully call a witness. Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTrump looms as flashpoint in Alabama Senate battle Mellman: Primary elections aren't general elections On The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare MORE (R-Utah) has said he wants to hear from former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonOvernight Defense: Dem senator met with Iranian foreign minister | Meeting draws criticism from right | Lawmakers push back at Pentagon funding for wall We should listen to John Bolton The Hill's Morning Report - Sanders on the rise as Nevada debate looms MORE. Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSusan Collins in statistical tie with Democratic challenger: poll Ernst endorses bipartisan Grassley-Wyden bill to lower drug prices Senate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony MORE (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) have not specifically supported calling any witnesses, but indicated they were open to the idea. 
 
Schumer said there are ongoing conversations but declined to provide details on whom he is talking with. He did not rule out, one way or another, if he'll be able to win over the necessary GOP votes. 
 
"Am I certain that we'll get those four Republicans? Absolutely not. Am I certain that we won't absolutely get those four Republicans? Absolutely not," Schumer said. "I have hope ... that we might get the witnesses and documents by the end of the day."