More bad news for McConnell: Two-thirds of voters want to see John Bolton testify
In the wake of multiple polls showing strong majorities of Americans believe the Senate impeachment trial should include witnesses and documents, a Quinnipiac survey finds that 66% of voters want to hear from one person in particular: former Trump national security adviser John Bolton. That 66% includes 39% of Republicans, 71% of independents, and 91% of Democrats.
Bolton’s willingness to testify in the Senate if subpoenaed is among the biggest prizes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acquired while delaying transmission of the articles of impeachment. Along with being quoted by his subordinates as calling Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani a "hand grenade," Bolton had unique proximity to Trump during some of the most critical episodes in the Ukraine scandal. His testimony could send shockwaves through the GOP, based on his outsized stature within the party and all the information he was privy to.
At least some Republican senators are showing interest in having witness testimony in the Senate trial, even as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does everything in his power to quash it. The White House reportedly fears that as many as four GOP senators might defect and vote in favor of hearing from witnesses, which would be enough to secure witness testimony. So as two-thirds of the public shows interest in hearing from Bolton and several Republican senators mull voting in favor of witness testimony, McConnell is now stuck trying to figure out how to appease GOP caucus members mired in vulnerable reelection bids while ensuring that no witnesses are heard from.