Democrats Reject Idea of 'Witness Swap' for Bolton

'We're not going to turn it into a farce,' Biden says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2020 7:58 AM CST
Impeachment Trial Day 3: Here's What Is Planned
In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff holds redacted documents as he speaks during the impeachment trial against President Trump in the Senate, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020.   (Senate Television via AP)

Lead House impeachment manager Adam Schiff said during the second day of President Trump's impeachment trial that former White House national security adviser John Bolton should be heard from—but he and other Democrats poured cold water on the idea of a "witness swap" in which Hunter Biden would also testify. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the idea was "off the table," the New York Times reports. Joe Biden also rejected the idea, saying he wanted "no part" of it. "We're not going to turn it into a farce, into some kind of political theater," he said. More:

  • White House didn't file to dismiss. President Trump denounced the Democratic case during a flood of tweets Wednesday and later told Fox he would like to see an "acquittal fairly quickly." But the White House decided against filing a motion to dismiss the charges, reports the Washington Post. Republican leaders have warned the administration that such a move would not have majority support so early in the trial.
  • Bolton "knows my thoughts." Bolton has said he will testify if subpoenaed, but Trump told reporters in Switzerland Wednesday that Bolton couldn't testify because he "knows my thoughts on certain people and other governments, war and peace and different things—that's a national security problem." Witnesses said Bolton described the alleged White House pressure on Ukraine, which led to Trump's impeachment, as like a "drug deal."

  • "I didn't hear anything new." The Guardian reports that GOP senators—who repeatedly voted Tuesday against calling new witnesses—complained that no fresh evidence against Trump has been presented. "I didn't hear anything new today," said Sen. Pat Toomey.
  • GOP voters According to a FiveThirtyEight poll, 54% of Americans now support removing Trump from office, and they are not split entirely along party lines. Some 18% of Republicans support removal, while 17% of Democrats want to dismiss the charges, the poll found. But the partisan divide is widening on the witness question: The proportion of Republicans who oppose calling new witnesses has grown from 41% to 48% over the last month. "Increasingly, rank-and-file Republicans seem to be just fine with a rapid trial that includes no new evidence or testimony," the pollsters say.
  • Senators are growing weary. The AP reports that impeachment fatigue appears to have set in already among "bored and weary" senators, who are not allowed to talk, work on other matters, or drink anything except water and milk in the chamber during proceedings. At least one of them, Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, appeared to take a nap soon after Schiff began talking. "It was a long day and the House managers did a lot of repeating the same material," GOP Sen. Mike Rounds told reporters. "I’ve got 20 pages of notes, and towards the end, we were basically hearing the same thing over again. It was a diatribe.”
  • What to expect on Thursday. Schiff said Day 3 of the impeachment trial, which will start around 1pm, will focus on the president's alleged abuse of power, which is the first article of impeachment, the Hill reports. "Tomorrow, we will go through the law, the Constitution, and the facts as they apply to Article I," he said Wednesday night "We’ve introduced the case, we have gone through the chronology and tomorrow we will apply the facts to the law as it pertains to the president’s abuse of power."
(Read more Trump trial stories.)

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