As the impeachment trial draws to a close, the Senate is debating whether or not to call additional witnesses.
On today’s Jay Sekulow Live, we discussed the last day of Senate questioning and previewed today’s debate over witnesses.
It looks like we have finally reached the end of this process. It looks like this could even be the final day of the Senate impeachment trial. We told you yesterday that after the Senate finished its sixteen hours of questioning, all eyes would turn to the debate on whether or not to call additional witnesses.
Sure enough, as soon as Senators started filing out of the chamber last night, undecided Senators started to make their statements on how they would vote on whether or not to call additional witnesses. Democrats needed four Republicans to vote with them in order to extend this trial and call witnesses. We told you yesterday that Senator Mitt Romney of Utah and Senator Susan Collins of Maine were likely to vote in favor of witnesses, and they have now confirmed as much.
We also told you that Colorado Senator Cory Gardner and Arizona Senator Martha McSally were two other Senators who had been undecided but were likely to vote no. That is still the case. That left two Republicans—Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska—that Democrats had to get in order to extend the trial.
Senator Alexander put out a statement last night that he has heard enough evidence and will vote against calling additional witnesses. So the Democrats will fall short of the votes they need to extend the trial and call more witnesses—witnesses that Chairman Schiff and the others in the House either did not call or did not wait for a court to determine their availability to testify.
Given these public statements, it is clear their will not be additional witnesses called. That will enable the Senate to begin moving toward a close.
We also discussed ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, acting in his private capacity as Counsel to the President, answering a question from Senator Coons (read by Chief Justice John Roberts) regarding the President’s counsel calling witnesses if the House managers were able to and if those witnesses would have first-hand knowledge of the charges against the President. Jay stated:
Mr. Chief Justice, so besides the fact that Mr. Schumer said—and it is on page 675 of the transcript—that we can call any witnesses we want, Mr. Schiff just said we don't really get—we can call their witnesses. That is what he said. We can call their witnesses because, under their theory, if we wanted to talk to the whistleblower, even in a secure setting to find out if he, in fact, may have worked for the Vice President or may have worked on Ukraine or may have been in communication with the staff, that is irrelevant.
We can't talk to Joe Biden or Hunter Biden because that is irrelevant—except the conversation that is the subject matter of this inquiry, the phone call transcript that you selectively utilized, has a reference to Hunter Biden. The conversation with Burisma, they raised it for about a half a day, saying there was nothing there. Well, let me find out through cross-examination.
But I just think of the irony of this—before we go to dinner—that we could call anyone we want, except for witnesses we want, but we can call their witnesses that they want.
Remember we said ``the fruit of the poisonous tree''? It is still the fruit of the poisonous tree. It doesn't get better with age, as I said. This idea that this is going to be a fair process—call the witnesses they want; don't call the witnesses you want because they are irrelevant. They may be irrelevant to them. They are not irrelevant to the President, and they are not irrelevant to our case.
You can listen to the entire episode with analysis by ACLJ Director of Policy Harry Hutchison and me, here.
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