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GOP senator 'open' to impeachment witnesses 'within the scope' of articles

Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) said Sunday that he would be "open" to having witnesses at the Senate impeachment trial but "only within the scope" of the two articles of impeachment. 

"My personal preference, Chuck, would be to see this thing dismissed out of hand because I think it's an illegitimate process in the House," he told moderator Chuck Todd on NBC's "Meet the Press." "They did not give this president due process." 

Perdue added that he backs Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky) decision to run the trial like the Clinton impeachment hearing. McConnell has pushed for a trial without witnesses or testimony, earning enough votes to hear the opening statements before coming to a decision about more witnesses.

Democrats are pushing for additional witnesses, like former national security adviser John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, to be heard in the upper chamber. But Republicans say the House should have collected all of the necessary witnesses and testimony before impeaching President Trump.

The House impeached the president on the articles of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress last month. But the lower chamber sent the articles to the Senate last week after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) withheld the articles until getting information on the upper chamber's rules for the trial.

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