Ted Cruz is calling for fairness and reciprocity when it comes to potentially calling for witnesses, saying that if the Democrat House managers want to call witnesses, the White House should be able to do the same:
DC EXAMINER – Republicans could compel Hunter Biden to testify if Democrats succeed in calling former national security adviser John Bolton to be a witness in the Senate impeachment trial.
So said Sen. Ted Cruz in an interview Thursday with the Washington Examiner, shortly after he was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts for the Ukraine impeachment trial set to begin next week. The Texas Republican made it clear that, while no decision has been reached on whether new witnesses would be called, he believed the Republican Senate majority would support Trump’s legal team getting to call at least an equal number of its own witnesses, potentially including 2020 Democratic front-runner Joe Biden’s son, if Democratic House managers for the trial are allowed to call in further people to testify.
“If additional witnesses are called, at a minimum we should respect the principle of reciprocity,” said Cruz. “So, if the prosecution is allowed one witness, the White House ought to be allowed at least one witness. If the prosecution is allowed two witnesses, the White House ought to be allowed two witnesses.”
The Republican said: “That would mean, as a practical matter, if the House managers called, for example, John Bolton, that the White House defense team could call as a witness, say, Hunter Biden.”
Cruz says he doesn’t know how a vote on witnesses will turn out…
Cruz wasn’t sure the required 51 senators would want to hear additional witnesses after each side made its case.
“I don’t know which way that vote will go,” Cruz said. “If the Senate goes down the road of additional witnesses, it needs to be fair and even-handed and respect due process.”
But he said exactly who gets selected shouldn’t be up to the senators.
“That’s a determination for the House managers on the prosecution side and a determination for the White House defense team on the defense side,” Cruz said.
To this point, Susan Collins issued a statement late yesterday clarifying her position on calling witnesses, noting that she supported it in the Clinton impeachment trial and that she would likely support it now as well:
“At the conclusion of that phase of the 1999 trial, the Senate voted on a motion to subpoena witnesses and admit additional materials after the case had been heard and the questions had been posed,” Collins continued. “I voted in favor of that motion subpoenaing witnesses.”
“While I need to hear the case argued and the questions answered, I tend to believe having additional information would be helpful,” the statement read. “It is likely that I would support a motion to call witnesses at that point in the trial just as I did in 1999.”
If I had to guess, it seems likely that Democrats will have the votes to call witnesses. And of course the media and Democrats will try and turn this trial into a fiasco.