GOP senators predict witness vote on Friday

GOP senators predict witness vote on Friday
© Greg Nash

Republican senators on Monday said that they expect a crucial vote on whether to allow witnesses in the impeachment trial to take place on Friday.

“We’re going to get to the specific question of witnesses on Friday,” Sen. Mike BraunMichael BraunDemocrats, Trump set to battle over implementing T relief bill Senate GOP looking at ,200 in coronavirus cash payments GOP divided on next steps for massive stimulus package MORE (R-Ind.) told reporters.

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneTrump's magical thinking won't stop the coronavirus pandemic Lawmakers brace for more coronavirus legislation after trillion bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Airbnb - Senate overcomes hurdles, passes massive coronavirus bill MORE (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, also said that the vote would “presumably” take place on Friday.

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“It probably happens Friday or Saturday at the latest,” Thune added.

The upcoming witness vote comes as The New York Times reported on Sunday night that former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonChina sees chance to expand global influence amid pandemic Trump ignores science at our peril Bolton defends decision to shutter NSC pandemic office MORE’s forthcoming memoir will say that Trump tied aid to Ukraine to the country helping with investigations into Democrats, including former Vice President Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

The report has injected uncertainty into whether the Senate will call witnesses.

Democrats have requested four witnesses in the impeachment trial, including Bolton. GOP leadership had appeared confident as of last week that the effort would fall short, paving the way for Trump’s quick acquittal.

But Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTrump selects White House lawyer for coronavirus inspector general Overnight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill On The Money: Economy sheds 701K jobs in March | Why unemployment checks could take weeks | Confusion surrounds 9B in small-business loans MORE (R-Utah) said it was “increasingly likely” more Republican senators would support calling Bolton. He clarified later that his comments were not based on conversations with colleagues.

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGOP senators begin informal talks on new coronavirus stimulus GOP presses for swift Ratcliffe confirmation to intel post Campaigns pivot toward health awareness as races sidelined by coronavirus MORE (R-Maine) added that she thought Bolton’s allegations “strengthen the case” for witnesses, but she is waiting to make a decision until after opening arguments and questions from senators.

Every GOP senator, including Romney and Collins, voted against an effort to subpoena Bolton as part of the rules resolution that passed last week.