- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Sen. Lindsey Graham, an ally of President Trump, said Wednesday he will not support witnesses during the impending impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate, despite Mr. Trump leaving the door open for people to testify in his defense.

“I’m going to tell the president no to his witness request,” the South Carolina Republican said.

Mr. Graham, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, told reporters Wednesday it would be best for the country to get the impeachment process behind it, calling for a short trial.

He said the Senate will use the record and transcripts from the House, denying Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer’s request to call more witnesses as well.

“When 51 people are ready to vote, that’s when we will vote,” Mr. Graham told reporters. “Most senators on our side are ready to move forward.”

He said the House impeachment managers will make their case for impeachment during a Senate hearing, and then the president’s legal team can respond. Mr. Graham then predicts the chamber will move to vote on the articles of impeachment after that, sans witnesses.

The president, though, has said in the past he wanted to call witnesses in his defense, suggesting at one point even calling the whistleblower who launched the probe into his July 25 call with the Ukrainian president where he discussed investigating a political rival. The call and whistleblower complaint spurred House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

The House is expected to pass the articles of impeachment Wednesday night, charging the president with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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