Mitch McConnell admits Republicans could still have to call witnesses at Senate trial
Senator Mitch McConnell speaking at the 130th annual Fancy Farm picnic in Fancy Farm, Kentucky. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Republicans, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), have made it clear that they would like the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump to be a summary affair, simply reviewing the facts that were discussed in the House inquiry and then moving to a vote without considering any new evidence or testimony — a setup that the GOP believes will most reliably keep their senators in line and ensure a smooth acquittal along party lines.

But on Monday, according to The Daily Beast, McConnell admitted in an interview on Fox & Friends that he couldn't completely close the door to calling forth new witnesses.

"We haven't ruled out witnesses," said McConnell. "We've said, 'Let's handle this case just like we did with President Clinton.' Fair is fair." He argued that in that trial, senators decided on whether to call witnesses during the trial, rather than setting it in stone beforehand.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has demanded Republicans compel testimony from key witnesses like White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who has failed to appear before the House despite his direct involvement in the Ukraine scheme.

Trump, for his part, has demanded Republicans muddy the waters by calling witnesses like Hunter Biden and the anonymous whistleblower whose complaint triggered an investigation of his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.