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Hawley among Republican Senators not supporting impeachment witnesses

(Missourinet) The U.S. Senate is expected to hold an up-or-down vote Friday afternoon in Washington, on whether to call witnesses in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.

U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley’s official portrait (2020 photo courtesy of Senator Hawley’s office)

U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley (R), who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoke to Missourinet’s Ashley Byrd on Thursday about the impeachment trial, and about Friday’s big day on Capitol Hill.

Hawley opposes hearing testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton.

“I don’t see any reason to hear from John Bolton, my view is this: I don’t think we need to hear from any of these people,” Hawley says. “We already have all of the House’s evidence in the record before us, that includes 17 witnesses and their testimony from the House.”

Hawley will vote against calling witnesses, in Friday’s vote. However, he says if the Senate calls witnesses, he has motions ready to call former Vice President Joe Biden (D) and his son, Hunter.

“I’ve consistently said I think for months now that if the Senate does call witnesses, I absolutely want to hear from Hunter Biden. And not just Hunter Biden, I want to hear from Joe Biden, I think he’s absolutely relevant,” says Hawley.

Hawley also wants to hear from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-California, saying he wants to know what Schiff told the whistleblower.

Senate Democrats want to hear from Bolton, on the allegation that President Trump withheld military aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son.

Hawley says President Trump did not commit bribery nor extortion, adding that nothing Bolton says will change that.

As for Chairman Schiff, he tweeted late Thursday: “The President’s lawyers argue on the Senate floor that he can withhold aid, coerce an ally, and try to cheat in an election, and there’s nothing we can do about it. Our Founders would be aghast.”

Hawley also says the president has not been given the same rights that previous presidents have been given, in impeachment trials. He says President Trump was not given an opportunity to cross-examine witnesses.

“And it’s the first impeachment of a president in our history that alleges zero criminal or unlawful conduct, zero,” Hawley says.

He says the president was not given the ability to participate in depositions.

Senator Hawley says the Senate will hear four hours of arguments on Friday, before the afternoon vote.

Hawley says the Senate has already heard more than 50 hours of arguments, and that he’s been taking notes in multiple notebooks. He says he’s looking forward to voting on Friday.

Missouri’s two U.S. Senators, Hawley and Roy Blunt, are Republicans.

U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, tweeted Thursday night with a hashtag #TrumpIsGuilty. Congressman Clay, who was elected in 2000, is one of the deans of Missouri’s congressional delegation. U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, R-Tarkio, is the other.

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