The Democrat impeachment sham looked like it was gaining momentum on Tuesday. Reports were coming out from various sources that Senators Murkowski (AL), Collins (MA), Romney (UT) Toomey (PA), Tillis (NC), and Gardner (CO) were planning to do what many of them do best, side with Democrats against their own party in an effort to harm President Trump and his pro-America agenda.
Not so fast…
Red State is reporting that after an initial sign of momentum in the direction of Democrats to subpoena Bolton, Chuck Schumer just lost a major swing vote on the matter. Cory Gardner was one of the five members who were expected to possibly vote with Democrats (along with Collins, Murkowski, Romney, and possibly Toomey) to call witnesses. Now, he’s saying that he’s done here.
From Colorado Politics:
“I do not believe we need to hear from an 18th witness,” the Colorado Republican told Colorado Politics in a statement. “I have approached every aspect of this grave constitutional duty with the respect and attention required by law, and have reached this decision after carefully weighing the House managers and defense arguments and closely reviewing the evidence from the House, which included well over 100 hours of testimony from 17 witnesses.”
Gardner had previously been noncommittal about Democrats’ demands to call more witnesses, including Bolton, who writes in a forthcoming book that Trump told him he withheld military aid from Ukraine to pressure the country to investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday night that Gardner and North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis “indicated during the meeting that they were ready to vote against witnesses and proceed to the final vote,” citing anonymous sources said to be familiar with the discussion.
This is surprising because Gardner is up for a hard re-election fight this year. There were rumblings that he’d vote for witnesses, even if the vote failed, so he could save face on the issue in a state that’s increasingly choosing to make itself California’s mini-me. But nope, he’s standing firm and using common sense. There’s no reason to hear from a witness that we already know has nothing impeachable to offer.
And let’s be clear, even the “leak” of Bolton’s book is not actually a quote or excerpt. It’s the impression of anonymous sources. That tells us a lot about what may or may not actually be written down. Allowing such a supposition to drive the Senate trial would be ludicrous. If Bolton wants to come out and clarify publicly, then perhaps support to call him as a witness would grow among even Republicans. But I believe outside of Mitt Romney and Susan Collins, this Kavanaugh-esque game has blown up in the face of the Democrats. People do not like to be jerked around and that’s exactly what has happened.
There’s another reason these Republican swing votes may be souring on calling witnesses as well. Namely, that Democrats are refusing to work with them and trying to dominate the process. While Romney may be good with just calling Bolton because he’s always good with appeasing Democrats, others like Toomey realize that it’s ridiculous to only let Schumer decide who gets to testify. Compromises to hear from both Bolton and Hunter Biden have been scoffed at by the Democratic members and that’s now working against them.