On Monday, the Washington Post‘s Robert Costa reported that some Democrats are warming up to the idea of allowing Republicans to call Hunter Biden to testify in the impeachment trial in exchange for witnesses of their own — believing that Republicans are bluffing and would get very little out of such a deal:
This point from Sen. Brown is something I heard a bit about in last hour or so, talking to some Dems. They think Cruz and others are offering up Bolton for Hunter Biden as a political gambit and “want to call the bluff,” as one Dem aide put it to me. https://t.co/dS5iD7IYBm
— Robert Costa (@costareports) January 20, 2020
This echoes the theory of some other pundits like CNN’s Michael Smerconish, who has argued the American people would be unimpressed with the GOP’s demonization of the younger Biden and would focus more starkly on the case against President Donald Trump.
Democrats have sought testimony from former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who has signaled he will honor a congressional subpoena. They also want testimony from White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who played a key role in the Office of Management and Budget refusing to release aid to Ukraine, and Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani who has been offering a trove of new documents and allegations about the scheme.
Republicans have broadly not wanted to call any new witnesses, preferring instead an expedited trial that will allow them to acquit the president as soon as possible. But some GOP senators have compelled Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to at least allow a full Senate vote on whether to admit new witnesses after opening arguments have been presented.