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Rand Paul to Fellow GOPers: Careful on Vote in Trump Trial

Warns Republican senators their vote on witnesses could threaten their reelection runs
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2020 8:03 AM CST
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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is seen Jan. 8, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – President Trump's impeachment trial officially begins Thursday in the Senate, and at least four Republican senators will need to vote with Democrats to introduce new evidence and call witnesses such as John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney, per the Washington Post. And Kentucky's Rand Paul has a warning for his fellow GOPers, especially ones in vulnerable positions as they run for reelection: Don't vote yes unless they also agree to let the president have witnesses of his own on the Ukraine scandal, like Hunter Biden or Joe Biden. "Either allow all witnesses ... or no witnesses," Paul said Wednesday on Fox's Your World With Neil Cavuto. "My colleagues can't have it both ways. Calling for some, while blocking others," he said in a tweet Monday, the New York Post reports.

Per Politico, Paul says that if enough GOP senators align with the Democrats on that witness vote, he'll force a vote on subpoenaing Trump's witnesses of choice, which moderate GOPers in swing states likely don't want for fear of alienating Democratic voters; Politico lists Maine's Susan Collins, Colorado's Cory Gardner, and Arizona's Martha McSally among those who might be worried. Paul warns, though, that Trump's base could also push back on them. "[If] some Republicans help Democrats get witnesses and there are no witnesses for the president, I think the end result is a revolutionary tide against those people," Paul notes. "I can't imagine that [Trump] will let it go by if someone votes to bring in witnesses that his administration isn't interested in." (Read more Trump impeachment stories.)

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