Senate Republicans are backing off initial, ironclad opposition to witnesses in the upcoming trial to adjudicate two articles of impeachment against President Trump.
As House Democrats approved charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in mid-December, most Senate Republicans signaled they were inclined to conclude an impeachment trial without witness testimony immediately following arguments from the defense and prosecution. But having agreed this week to broad contours for trial procedure, Republicans are declining to rule out witnesses, saying it depends on what they hear from House prosecutors and the White House defense.
“That seems like a reasonable approach,” Sen. John Hoeven, a North Dakota Republican, said Thursday.
Sen. Rick Scott said he wants to get through arguments and question-and-answer phases of the trial before deciding on witnesses. “I’m going to get through the first part of it, figure out what they present, and figure it out then,” the Florida Republican said. “I think we ought to go through the normal process.”