On Tuesday evening, the White House received disastrous news from the Capitol.
In a shocking turn of events, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been forced to admit that he no longer has the votes to block the Democrats from calling witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump.
Even after sitting through days and late nights of argument, several Republicans apparently are ready to join Democrats in considering in-person testimony from former National Security Adviser John Bolton and perhaps others.
McConnell told colleagues in a private meeting that he did not yet have the votes to block Democrats from summoning witnesses. That outcome would prolong an election-year trial that Trump and his legal team had hoped was on track, as one lawyer said, to “end now, as soon as possible.”
McConnnell’s statement, in a closed-door meeting of senators, was an acknowledgment of the extent to which revelations from Bolton have scrambled the trial’s schedule and the desire for testimony. Bolton writes in a forthcoming book that Trump told him he wanted to withhold military aid from Ukraine until it helped with investigations into Democratic rival Joe Biden. That assertion, if true, would undercut a key defense argument and go to the heart of one major article of impeachment against the president.
Bolton’s forthcoming book is said to demolish the President’s impeachment defense, claiming that Trump’s decision to withhold military aid from Ukraine was indeed part of a scheme to extort the tiny European nation into opening an investigation into the Biden family’s business dealings abroad.
This revelation could change everything for the GOP, and could send McConnell scrambling for a Plan B.