One of the House impeachment managers said Sunday she wasn’t sure that the goal of convincing the Senate to subpoena new witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump had been achieved this week.
Democrats, who hold 47 seats in the Senate, need to convince four Republicans to compel witnesses, assuming all of the Democrats vote together on the matter.
In an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat from California participating in her third impeachment process (she worked as a staffer to a House member during the Nixon era), was asked if she thought there were four Senate Republican votes for witnesses.
“I don’t know. As I sit there, I find myself looking at the senators … and wondering what is going through their minds,” Lofgren replied.
Another House impeachment manager, Rep. Val Demings, a Democrat from Florida, said she wouldn’t speculate. “I am just not going to give up on the Senate, and I am not going to draw any conclusions,” Demings said, on ABC News “This Week.”
News reports suggest that Democrats remain at least one vote short. That would allow Republicans to end the impeachment trial possibly as soon as during the coming week. Trump is scheduled to deliver his State of the Union address on Feb. 4.
Senate Republicans Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have suggested they might vote for witnesses to be called. The fourth Republican senator is a bigger question mark.
Trump’s lawyers on Saturday delivered their opening arguments, using only about two of 24 allotted hours spread over three days. The House managers, all Democrats, used 21 of their 24 hours over three sessions. The Trump defense team is slated to resume its presentation Monday.
White House counsel Pat Cipollone charged that Democrats are trying to keep Trump off the November ballot.
Trump attacked House impeachment lead manager Adam Schiff on Twitter on Sunday, saying that Schiff “has not paid the price, yet, for what he has done to our Country!”
Schiff said in an interview on NBC that he felt the president’s tweet was intended to be a threat.
Many Republicans on the Sunday talk shows said they were not persuaded by the House impeachment managers.
Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, said he would not support the call for witnesses. “Democrats have not proven the case against Donald Trump. We don’t need to prolong this matter,” Cotton said on the CBS News program “Face the Nation.”
Sen. James Lankford, a Republican from Oklahoma, also said he would oppose witnesses. “The House did not do their homework this time. They are asking the Senate to be special counsel,” he said in an ABC appearance.