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Senate Republicans to meet Tuesday afternoon on witness question

Senate Republicans will hold a special meeting Tuesday afternoon after President TrumpDonald TrumpFreedom Caucus member condemns GOP group pushing 'Anglo-Saxon political traditions' MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's new free speech site to ban certain curse words Secret Facebook groups of special operations officers include racist comments, QAnon posts: report MORE’s legal team finishes its opening arguments to hash out their strategy on how to handle the tricky question of subpoenaing additional witnesses and documents.

Two Senate Republican sources confirmed that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPew poll: 50 percent approve of Democrats in Congress Pelosi on power in DC: 'You have to seize it' Progressives put Democrats on defense MORE (R-Ky.) has called the meeting to get his GOP colleagues on the same page as phase one of the impeachment trial nears its end.

Under the trial’s organizing resolution, which McConnell drafted, senators will have 16 hours to ask questions of the House managers and the president’s lawyers before voting on whether it should be in order to subpoena additional witnesses, such as former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonHillicon Valley: Facebook Oversight board to rule on Trump ban in 'coming weeks' | Russia blocks Biden Cabinet officials in retaliation for sanctions Russia blocks key Biden Cabinet officials from entering in retaliation for sanctions The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - US vaccine effort takes hit with Johnson & Johnson pause MORE and acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyHeadhunters having hard time finding jobs for former Trump officials: report Trump holdovers are denying Social Security benefits to the hardest working Americans Mulvaney calls Trump's comments on Capitol riot 'manifestly false' MORE.

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Senate Republicans have come under increased pressure to call for Bolton’s testimony after The New York Times reported Sunday that Bolton's unpublished book manuscript claims Trump said he wanted to freeze military aid for Ukraine until officials there announced an investigation of former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFour members of Sikh community among victims in Indianapolis shooting Overnight Health: NIH reverses Trump's ban on fetal tissue research | Biden investing .7B to fight virus variants | CDC panel to meet again Friday on J&J On The Money: Moderates' 0B infrastructure bill is a tough sell with Democrats | Justice Dept. sues Trump ally Roger Stone for unpaid taxes MORE.

Two moderate Republicans, Sens. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyPersonal security costs for anti-Trump lawmakers spiked post-riot The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - Biden to Putin: Tough sanctions, straight talk Moderates' 0B infrastructure bill is a tough sell with Democrats MORE (Utah) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsModerates' 0B infrastructure bill is a tough sell with Democrats OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senate confirms Mallory to lead White House environment council | US emissions dropped 1.7 percent in 2019 | Interior further delays Trump rule that would make drillers pay less to feds Anti-Asian hate crimes bill overcomes first Senate hurdle MORE (Maine), said Monday that news of Bolton’s draft book strengthened the case to agree to additional witnesses and testimony.   

Romney said “it’s increasingly likely that other Republicans will join those of us who think we should hear from John Bolton.”

McConnell was able to keep his other GOP colleagues in line Monday when he urged them to hold off on deciding the question of witnesses until after the president’s lawyers had finished their opening arguments and senators had time to ask questions.

Now that the White House is close to finishing its opening presentation, McConnell is checking back in with colleagues to discuss the next steps of the trial.

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Several GOP senators have floated proposals to allow them to review Bolton’s claims without voting to issue new subpoenas, which could prolong the trial past the Feb. 4 State of the Union address and perhaps for weeks beyond.

Sen. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordRubio and bipartisan group of senators push to make daylight saving time permanent Senate inches toward COVID-19 vote after marathon session Ron Johnson grinds Senate to halt, irritating many MORE (R-Okla.) is in talks with the White House to make Bolton’s manuscript available for senators to review at the Sensitive Compartment Information Facility (SCIF) in the Capitol Visitor Center.

Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonPelosi: Dropping 9/11-style Jan. 6 commission an 'option' amid opposition Wisconsin state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski launches Senate bid Biden picks vocal Trump critics to lead immigration agencies MORE (R-Wis.) on Monday suggested that Bolton reveal what he knows to the media.

“Now that what has unfolded with the manuscript being leaked — by the way, exquisite timing, maybe suspicious timing — The Wall Street Journal has called for John to just come forward. Just tell the public what you know. I think that would actually be a smart thing. I’d encourage John to do that,” Johnson told reporters.

Johnson said Bolton should do so “without involving the trial” and possibly go straight to the media.

Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeySasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote Philly GOP commissioner on censures: 'I would suggest they censure Republican elected officials who are lying' Toomey censured by several Pennsylvania county GOP committees over impeachment vote MORE (R-Pa.) has proposed a one-for-one witness swap, under which Republicans would agree to hear Bolton’s testimony in exchange for subpoenaing Hunter Biden, the former vice president’s son, to hear about his business dealings in Ukraine.