Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell, one of nine House impeachment managers, would not rule out calling Republican lawmakers as witnesses in the upcoming impeachment trial of former President Trump in the Senate.
“The senators themselves are witnesses,” said Swalwell, when asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper if he’d consider calling as a witness House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who acknowledged speaking with Trump over the phone during the Capitol siege.
“This is an extraordinarily unique situation where the jurors are witnesses and victims, and the crime scene also is the courtroom,” Swalwell added.
But Swalwell, a former prosecutor who was deeply involved in Trump’s first impeachment trial, would not say for certain whether the impeachment team would call lawmakers as witnesses, noting it is still unclear whether the Senate will even permit witnesses.
“We’re waiting to see what the rules will be around that,” he said. “Again, we’re not going to reveal any tactics this early until we know what the rules are.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Monday afternoon would not say whether he was open to having witnesses, saying “hopefully” Democrats would be able to negotiate with Republican Leader Mitch McConnell on the structure of proceedings.
“We’ll see what happens. We don’t know what the requests are on either side yet, of the managers or the defense,” Schumer told CNN.
Swalwell, when pressed by Tapper a second time on whether he had plans to call McCarthy, reiterated that no decision had yet been made.
“I’ll leave that to our team to decide,” he replied. “We’ll be ready. We’re ready to go right now. Again, these senators, unlike most trials, they were witnesses to the crime. You don’t have to tell them twice what happened.”
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