Sen. John Boozman has spoken to a few press outlets about impeachment over the last week. He didn’t come right out and say that he would acquit Trump if he shot someone on Fifth Avenue, but he’s clearly planning to remain a loyal toady to the president.
But Boozman said that he expected the trial to last several weeks and that there was a “fair chance” that witnesses would be called. Perhaps notable given Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell‘s stated plan to obstruct Democratic efforts to seek witness testimony or introduce new documentary evidence.
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“I think that there’s a fair chance that we will actually call witnesses and get additional information,” Boozman told the D-G’s Frank Lockwood yesterday. Last week, he told Roby Brock of Talk Business that he thought witnesses would be called.
“I think you’re talking about several weeks,” Boozman told Lockwood in terms of the length of the trial.
The question of whether to call a witness will be up to a majority vote of the Senate. It appeared that McConnell would be able to hold his caucus together to block such efforts and enact a speedy sham trial, quickly acquitting with no witnesses. However, recently some cracks are starting to show and a few wobbly Republican moderates (Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney are oft-reported names) appear open to crossing the aisle to allow witnesses. Four Republican votes would be necessary. McConnell has no worries from the Arkansas delegation, but several other Republicans may vote to allow witnesses.
Some Republicans have now floated the idea of calling their own witnesses in turn, focusing on Hunter Biden and others connected to Joe Biden rather than anyone relevant to the articles facing the president. Denied the total coverup planned by McConnell, they’re now angling for a circus.
“I want the process to be fair, so if we decide to call witnesses, I think it’s very important that both sides call the witnesses that they feel they need to make their case,” Boozman told Lockwood.
Boozman said he didn’t think the charges against Trump rose to the level of impeachment. He said the House impeachment of Trump was “not a fair process.”
Here’s another interview with Boozman on KAIT yesterday, with more of the same.
The impeachment articles allege that Trump improperly withheld financial aid to Ukraine to pressure them to investigate Biden in order to smear his rival for Trump’s personal political benefit, and then obstructed the effort of Congress to investigate that malfeasance.
Regarding both charges, Boozman told Brock on Talk Business, “We do that all the time. … That goes on all the time.”
“I don’t think it’s worthy of impeachment,” he said.