Mitch McConnell in battle with White House over calling Senate impeachment trial witnesses: report
Composite image of President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Photos by Gage Skidmore.

As the Senate braces for the expected impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, there is a battle going on between the White House and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnel (R-KY) over tactics -- specifically a desire by the president to have an extended trial that will include witnesses he wants to see testify.

According to a report in the New York Times, Trump would like to see former Vice President Joe Bidens' son Hunter called to testify along with the whistleblower whose report led to the impeachment inquiry. Additionally, the president wants to House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to take the stand.

As the Times reports, "The McConnell camp worries that could open a 'Pandora’s box,' as one person close to the senator said, clearing the way for other witnesses and lines of questioning that could reflect poorly on the president."

One of the president's most rabid defenders, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) wants the GOP-controlled Senate to plunge ahead with calling a series of witnesses who he thinks will vindicate the president.

“I understand their desire to just get it behind us, but the country needs to hear what a farce this was,” Gohmert told reporters. "They really need to bring in witnesses. They are the chance to clean this mess up.”

On Thursday night, McConnell publically said he was coordinating with the White House on the president's defense.

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