Sen. Ted Cruz joined a number of other top Senate allies of President Donald Trump with regard to their outlook on the growing possibility that Republicans might be able to convince Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow Democrats to call witnesses during the president’s upcoming impeachment trial.
According to The Washington Examiner, Cruz on Thursday told the publication that if the Democratic House managers who are presenting their case to the Senate are given clearance to call witnesses, including Bolton, Cruz believes it’s only fair that Republicans are able to call witnesses such as Hunter Biden.
“If additional witnesses are called, at a minimum we should respect the principle of reciprocity,” said Cruz. “So, if the prosecution is allowed one witness, the White House ought to be allowed at least one witness. If the prosecution is allowed two witnesses, the White House ought to be allowed two witnesses.”
Cruz then made clear his demand that fairness be afforded to all parties in that hypothetical situation.
“That would mean, as a practical matter, if the House managers called, for example, John Bolton, that the White House defense team could call as a witness, say, Hunter Biden,” Cruz added.
The call for Biden to testify has been raised several times by many GOP lawmakers and senators over past months, as they would presumably like to know exactly why he was appointed such a lucrative position at a Ukrainian energy company while his father was the vice president of the United States.
Likewise, Democrats have itched to secure Bolton’s testimony, as his former aide, Fiona Hill, reported that her boss had resisted the alleged “pressure campaign” that Democrats claim Trump initiated with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksy in a July 25 phone call last year. Hill said that Bolton reportedly indicated that he didn’t want to take part in such a “drug deal.”
Cruz also made clear that if the decision is made to call witnesses on both sides, after both sides present their opening arguments to the Senate, that it’s only fair for the White House legal team to be able to name their witnesses — a rule that would also be afforded to the House manager team.
Trump’s impeachment trial is set to begin on Tuesday, January 21 in the Republican-controlled upper chamber. Short of an unprecedented break from the White House, GOP senators are expected to rule in the president’s favor with an acquittal.