IMPEACHMENT TRIAL DAY 5 – The US Senate’s decision to call witnesses at the WITCH-HUNT impeachment trial of President Trump surprised lawmakers on both sides, who must now decide how many witnesses will be called and how they will be deposed.
Democrats flipped the script this morning after their case collapsed on Friday against President Trump.
Democrats now want to change the rules and call in witnesses. This comes after Senator McConnell announced he will vote to acquit.
Senators in both parties had expected no witnesses at the trial and a potential vote on the verdict Saturday. But after Rep. Jamie Raskin (D) asked to hear from a House member, Trump’s defense team also sought witnesses.
According to the Seattle Times:
Rep. Jaimie Raskin, lead impeachment manager, called Saturday morning for Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington to be subpoenaed for the Senate trial, saying her corroboration of a Jan. 6 phone call between House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and former President Donald Trump was critical. Beutler is one of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump.
Now the Senate must decide how many witnesses to call and under what rules. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer recessed the trial while lawmakers debate which steps to take.
Under the resolution the Senate adopted for the trial, after allowing any witnesses, the Senate must decide whether to issue subpoenas, how to arrange depositions, and whether other research is needed. Those rules would be governed by another resolution in the Senate, which would require another vote, according to USA Today.
According to multiple reports, Trump’s legal team requested to call in Speaker Pelosi and Washington DC Mayor Bowser to testify before the US Senate.
BREAKING: The Trump legal team has asked to subpoena Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington DC if the Democrats wish to call witnesses for the impeachment trial.
What kind of inside information do they have about the breach of the Capitol?
— Dino Veletanlic (@Dino_Veletanlic) February 13, 2021
A person familiar with Trump team strategy told me that if Dems seek witnesses, Trump’s legal team will try to call Pelosi and Bowser.
They would need 51 votes to subpoena the witnesses.
Dem managers have refused to comment this morning about witnesses
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 13, 2021
“I’m gonna slap subpoenas on a good number of people,” Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen said, adding he would like to hold 100 depositions if any witnesses are called.
“Do not limit the number of witnesses that I can have,” he said.
Jason Miller, a Trump spokesman, said the defense team has a list of 301 witnesses –and counting.
CNN reports that former President Trump's legal team is prepared to call OVER 300 witnesses. pic.twitter.com/2LqmkUmrio
— Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) February 13, 2021
Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan, said there’s an “attempt at the moment is to see what the parameters of witnesses might be.” He wants to make sure it’s “fair” and that there’s time to take depositions, which Trump’s legal team said should be taken in person.