Gardner says he will oppose new witnesses in Trump impeachment trial

Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerSenate advances conservation fund bill, House introduces companion John Hickenlooper defies subpoena to appear for virtual hearing on ethics complaint Senate Republicans urge Trump to tone down rhetoric on protests MORE (Colo.), a vulnerable GOP senator up for reelection this year, said Wednesday that he will oppose any effort to call new witnesses as part of President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal plan to contain Washington protests employs 7,600 personnel: report GOP Rep calls on primary opponent to condemn campaign surrogate's racist video Tennessee court rules all registered voters can obtain mail-in ballots due to COVID-19 MORE's impeachment trial.

Gardner, in a statement to Colorado Politics, said he did not "believe we need to hear from an 18th witness," referring to individuals called during last year's House impeachment inquiry.

"I have approached every aspect of this grave constitutional duty with the respect and attention required by law, and have reached this decision after carefully weighing the House managers and defense arguments and closely reviewing the evidence from the House, which included well over 100 hours of testimony from 17 witnesses," he added. 
 
Gardner has been critical of the House impeachment process for months, but his opposition to new witnesses comes as Republicans face intense external pressure to call former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonHave the courage to recognize Taiwan McConnell says Obama administration 'did leave behind' pandemic plan Trump company lawyer warned Michael Cohen not to write 'tell-all' book: report MORE.
 
 
Gardner is one of two GOP senators seeking another term in a state won by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMark Cuban says he's decided not to run for president Trump official criticizes ex-Clinton spokesman over defunding police tweet Poll: Biden leads Trump, Cunningham neck and neck with Tillis in North Carolina MORE in 2016. The other, Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Murkowski, Mattis criticism ratchets up pressure on GOP over Trump| Esper orders hundreds of active-duty troops outside DC sent home day after reversal | Iran releases US Navy veteran Michael White Murkowski, Mattis criticism ratchets up pressure on GOP over Trump GOP Sen. Murkowski 'struggling' with whether to vote for Trump MORE (Maine), has not announced how she will vote but has characterized herself as "very likely" to support new witnesses.
 
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump vows to campaign against Murkowski after senator's criticism Senate advances conservation fund bill, House introduces companion Paul clashes with Booker, Harris over anti-lynching bill MORE (R-Ky.) has not yet said he has the 51 votes — or 50 votes if Chief Justice John Roberts does not break a tie — to defeat a call for new witnesses.
 
But Republicans are feeling newly confident that they will be able to avoid a messy witness fight.