Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, confirmed that there are discussions underway in which the impeachment trial still wraps up today, even as the Senate just voted to call witnesses in the impeachment trial.
“We may see a resolution. There are negotiations going on right now that we could see this thing resolved and ended today,” Cruz told reporters.
He made clear that Republicans will not accept Democrats being able to call witnesses without Republicans getting the same opportunity.
In what John King described as “bluster and bullying” by some GOP senators, Cruz told reporters that it is very likely Trump’s team calls House Speaker Nancy Pelosi because they want her to testify about when she knew there was a threat at the Capitol and whether she was involved in a decision to not beef up security prior to Jan. 6. Cruz said he did not think Trump should be forced to testify.
However, rules agreed to by both parties ahead of the trial mandate that, in order for a witness to be called, the Senate would need a simple majority of votes. With Democrats holding a one-vote advantage, it is unlikely that Pelosi would ultimately be called.
“I think if the Democrats want to open this Pandora’s box, I don’t think it’s going to work out well for them,” Cruz said.
Cruz described the House Managers call for witnesses a “hail Mary” and said the only reason the managers are making the call for witnesses is because of “leftist Twitter.”
“I think what happened is leftist Twitter got really upset last night that they weren’t calling witnesses, and I think that this is a political theater. And I think the House managers were feeling heat on their left flank and so they decided they surprised Schumer and the Democrats by saying they wanted witnesses. At this point nobody knows what is going to happen.”
Cruz described the change of course from unanimous consent of not calling witnesses to the last minute move by the House managers to call witnesses as “chaos.”
He outlined that even if witnesses are called, it will not change the outcome of the trial. He said it is most likely only 55 senators will vote to convict, “plus or minus 2,” which is not near the two-thirds majority needed for conviction.
Cruz said the prospect of this trial lasting until March is not good for Democrats who just took control of committees and have a lot to do in terms of passing legislation around their agenda, a prospect he believes Schumer is trying to avoid.
“I just came from the Republican cloakroom. There are a lot of Republican senators that are saying all right fine if you want to drag this out every day we’re in this trial is a day that the Democratic majorities are not destroying the country are not passing policies that are killing jobs and putting people out of work and keeping kids out of school. I think Schumer is trying desperately to get out of this dam, into which they’ve driven themselves” Cruz said.
“I don’t think Joe Biden wanted to go down the road of impeachment. I don’t think Schumer and most of the Democratic senators wanted to go down the road of impeachment,” he added.
Cruz said GOP Rep. Herrera Beutler’s account that spurred the House managers wanting to call witnesses is based on “hearsay” or “double hearsay” which would not hold up in the court of law.