Progressive group targeting vulnerable GOP senators on impeachment witnesses


A Democratic group has launched a six-figure ad campaign targeting five vulnerable Republican senators over the GOP’s reluctance to call for witnesses as part of the ongoing Senate impeachment trial.

Majority Forward, a nonprofit affiliated with the Democratic super PAC Senate Majority, will air statewide ads targeting Republican Sens. Martha McSally (Ariz.), Cory Gardner (Colo.), Susan Collins (Maine), Joni Ernst (Iowa) and Thom Tillis (N.C.) in their respective states.

The 30-second ads “Oath” and “Rigged” hit the Republicans for not pushing for a vote to compel witnesses as part of the trial, the group announced Monday.

The ads will run on digital and connected TV platforms, such as Hulu, through Friday. A spokesperson for Majority Forward said the campaign is a “sizable six-figure buy” split across the five states. 

“Senate Republicans have broken their oath of impartiality and their promise to the American people by playing along with Mitch McConnell’s cover-up,” Senate Majority PAC President J.B. Poersch said in the announcement. 

“By refusing to get the facts and demand a fair trial from the onset, Senate Republicans are putting party politics over principle. Our new ad campaign urges these vulnerable incumbents to do their jobs and demand a fair trial now,” Poersch added.

A vote on whether to allow witnesses is expected to take place later this week. If all Democrats vote in favor of the measure, four Republicans will need to join them for the resolution to pass.

Democrats have been pushing for witnesses as part of the Senate trial, arguing that by not allowing them, Republicans are blocking the opportunity for a fair trial. 

Some Republicans have signaled they may vote for witnesses, especially in the wake of a bombshell New York Times report on former national security adviser John Bolton’s upcoming book. 

The Times reported on Sunday night that Bolton claims in his forthcoming memoir that President Trump tied Ukraine aid to help with investigations into Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. The allegations are at the heart of the impeachment trial, and Bolton is one of several firsthand witnesses Democrats have been calling for. 

Collins said Monday the reports about Bolton’s book “strengthen the case for witnesses and have prompted a number of conversations among my colleagues.” 

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) similarly told reporters Monday that it is “increasingly likely” additional GOP senators will support calling Bolton. 

Tags Bolton testimony Cory Gardner Donald Trump Impeachment Joe Biden John Bolton Joni Ernst Martha McSally Mitch McConnell Mitt Romney Senate trial Susan Collins Thom Tillis

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