Democrats revive debate over calling impeachment witnesses

Democrats are reviving a debate over whether to call witnesses for the impeachment trial against former President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to move ahead with billion UAE weapons sale approved by Trump Fox News hires high-profile defense team in Dominion defamation lawsuit Associate indicted in Gaetz scandal cooperating with DOJ: report MORE, an issue that as of Friday many senators viewed as settled.

Neither House impeachment managers nor Trump's legal team had formally closed the door to calling witnesses, but senators on both sides of the aisle expected they wouldn't and that the trial would wrap up on Saturday.

But some Democrats are now endorsing the idea in the wake of new details about conversations then-President Trump had with Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyRepublicans need to stop Joe Biden's progressive assault on America Top academics slam Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act Boehner: 'There's a lot of leaders in the Republican Party' MORE (R-Calif.) during the Jan. 6 attack.


"The House Managers should ask for witnesses to be called, including anyone who communicated with Donald Trump or have direct knowledge of his actions and state of mind while he was in the White House after the Capitol was breached and while the attempted coup was ongoing," Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyHillicon Valley: Supreme Court sides with Google in copyright fight against Oracle | Justices dismiss suit over Trump's blocking of critics on Twitter | Tim Cook hopes Parler will return to Apple Store Democrats press Facebook on plans for Instagram for kids Give Republicans the climate credit they deserve MORE (D-Mass.) tweeted on Saturday.

Markey was endorsing an idea that Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseLawmakers say fixing border crisis is Biden's job Democrats wrestle over tax hikes for infrastructure Democrats look to impose capital gains tax at death MORE (D-R.I.) tweeted on Friday night, saying that Trump's legal counsel had made misrepresentations that they needed to correct. 

"One way to clear it up? Suspend trial to depose McCarthy and Tuberville under oath and get facts. Ask Secret Service to produce for review comms back to White House re VP Pence safety during siege. What did Trump know, and when did he know it?" Whitehouse tweeted. 

Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyFace mask PPE is everywhere now — including the ocean Green tech isn't all it's cracked up to be 2024 GOP White House hopefuls lead opposition to Biden Cabinet MORE (D-Ore.) also endorsed the idea, saying that Whitehouse "nailed it." 

Tuberville disclosed to reporters this week that he told Trump on Jan. 6, while the Capitol was under attack, that then-Vice President Pence had been removed from the Senate chamber.


Whitehouse acknowledged on Saturday that it's up to House managers, adding "it's not my call so we'll see what Team Raskin decides to do." 

Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden officials brace for worst despite vaccine data Political fireworks fuel DC statehood hearing Democrats vow to go 'bold' — with or without GOP MORE (D-Md.), the lead House impeachment manager, has not said if they will try to call witnesses. While either Trump's team or the House managers could press for witnesses, the Senate has to formally vote to call them. 

Republicans have threatened that if Democrats decide to call witnesses that Trump's team will also demand to call witnesses. 

A source indicated to Politico on Saturday that they could try to call House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi says she would have put up a fight against Capitol mob: 'I'm a street fighter' Biden to address Congress on April 28 NY House Democrats demand repeal of SALT cap MORE (D-Calif.) to explain security at the Capitol on Jan. 6. 

That effort is all but guaranteed to fail in the Senate because they would need 51 votes, which would require the support of Democrats.