Gardner says he will oppose new witnesses in Trump impeachment trial

Sen. Cory Gardner (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 Trump’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 Bolton.
Bolton, in a draft of his forthcoming memoir, will reportedly claim that Trump tied Ukraine aid to the country announcing investigations into political opponents, including former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
Gardner is one of two GOP senators seeking another term in a state won by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016. The other, Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), has not announced how she will vote but has characterized herself as “very likely” to support new witnesses.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (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.
Tags Cory Gardner Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Impeachment Joe Biden John Bolton Mitch McConnell Susan Collins
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