Sen. Mitt Romney, a frequent critic of President Donald Trump, said it’s “very likely” he will join with Democrats in calling for witnesses in the Senate’s impeachment trial.
“I think it’s very likely I’ll be in favor of witnesses, but I haven’t made a decision finally yet and I won’t until the testimony is completed,” the Utah Republican told reporters on Saturday following the first day of arguments from the president’s legal team.
When asked about Trump’s defense, Romney replied, “I just don’t have any comments on the process or the evidence until the trial is over.”
Prior to the beginning of the trial on Tuesday when Democrat House managers began presenting their case, Romney said he would like to hear from former National Security Adviser John Bolton after he said he would be willing to testify before the Senate.
“I would like to hear from John Bolton and other witnesses, but at the same time I’m comfortable with the Clinton impeachment model when we have opening arguments first and then we have a vote on whether to have witnesses,” Romney said earlier this month.
But, in all, four Republicans would have to join Democrats to vote in favor of subpoenas and witnesses in the case, which could potentially trigger a lengthy court battle that would extend the trial, The Epoch Times reported.
Romney’s comments about allowing witnesses came following more than 20 hours’ worth of oral arguments from House impeachment managers led by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). The House voted for two articles of impeachment December 19, one for “abuse of power” and the other for “obstructing Congress.”
Republicans have argued that neither reaches the constitutional requirement of impeaching presidents for “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Democrats allege Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine in exchange for an investigation by Kiev into possible corruption involving 2020 rival Joe Biden.
A transcript of a phone conversation Trump had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky does not show that the president made such a demand.
On Saturday, Trump’s lawyers, led by Pat Cipollone, pushed back against the impeachment managers’ allegations, saying there was no pressure from the White House or any evidence of a quid pro quo, The Epoch Times reported.