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Former Democratic senator urges Republicans to vote for impeachment trial witnesses

Former Democratic senator urges Republicans to vote for impeachment trial witnesses
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The only Democratic senator to vote against a motion to dismiss the impeachment case against former President Clinton is urging Republicans to vote in favor of hearing witnesses as part of President TrumpDonald John TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE’s Senate impeachment trial. 

Former Sen. Russ Feingold (Wis.) sent a letter to every Senate Republican on Thursday pushing them to uphold their constitutional duty. 

“I understand the position you are in and the difficult decisions you must make. I once took the same oath to do impartial justice that you recently swore to uphold,” Feingold wrote.

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“As there was then, there is now only one way to ensure that the American people have confidence in the outcome of the momentous decision ahead of you — and that is to ensure that the process by which you arrive at your decision on the President’s removal is a fair one,” he wrote.

Feingold asked senators to vote in favor of hearing witnesses during the trial, noting that the House was unable to hear from firsthand witnesses during the hearings in the lower chamber.

“As fair-minded jurors, judges, and representatives of the American people, you must hear all the testimony and examine all the evidence possible before casting your vote to either convict or acquit,” he wrote. 

Feingold said the need to hear from witnesses is “all the more apparent” in wake of “a deluge of new evidence relating to the allegations set forth” in the the articles passed by the House. 

Democrats have been pushing to hear from new witnesses as part of the impeachment trial. Their push was bolstered after a New York Times report about details in an unpublished memoir by former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonPressure grows from GOP for Trump to recognize Biden election win Sunday shows - Virus surge dominates ahead of fraught Thanksgiving holiday Bolton calls on GOP leadership to label Trump's behavior 'inexcusable' MORE was released.

The former White House official reportedly claimed that Trump tied Ukraine aid to investigations into his political opponent, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation US records 2,300 COVID-19 deaths as pandemic rises with holidays MORE and his son Hunter Biden. 

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Additionally, following the articles of impeachment that passed in the House last year, Lev Parnas, a former associate of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiEx-Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell files lawsuits in Michigan, Georgia Trump set for precedent-breaking lame-duck period As Biden administration ramps up, Trump legal effort drags on MORE, supplied the committees in the lower chamber with information about communications with Ukraine that Democrats argue corroborates the allegations against Trump.

Parnas was indicted on campaign finance charges late last year. 

A vote on whether to allow witnesses is expected Friday. 

Republicans voiced confidence Tuesday that they will be able to block witnesses. 

If all Democrats vote for the measure, they will need at least four Republicans to join them.