As More Sen GOPers Come Out Against Outright Dismissal, WH Seems Open To Witnesses

Trump campaign press secretary Hogan Gidley answers questions outside the White House on October 22, 2019. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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January 14, 2020 11:31 a.m.

Just as more Senate Republicans speak out against an outright dismissal of impeachment articles, the White House has conveniently modified its tune on the allowance of additional witnesses in the trial.

As of Tuesday morning, at least five prominent Republican senators had indicated they’d be against a dismissal, including swing votes like Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Trump-backer Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO). Reports surfaced Monday that the White House was urging an outright dismissal of the impeachment articles when they make their way over to the Senate, likely in the next few days.

That sentiment has changed subtly in the last 24 hours.

“The President is not afraid of a fight and if you or anyone within the sound of our voices had been falsely accused of a crime, with no proof, and no evidence, for more than three years, you’d want every witness to come forward too and say, ‘this man did nothing wrong,'” White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told “Fox and Friends” Tuesday morning. “We are not afraid of a fight. We are prepared and whether this thing goes to a full trial, whether it’s modified or whether it’s just dismissed out of hand for the sham illegitimate scam it has become, we will be ready.”

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When asked whether the White House would support the testimony of its former National Security Adviser John Bolton, Gidley demurred, pointing to the White House’s ability to invoke executive privilege.  

“We don’t really care who comes forward because the President has done nothing wrong,” he said. “We’re happy for anyone to come forward and testify. There are obviously rules of executive privilege. The past administrations have exerted, we will most likely do the same thing, but until it goes over to the Senate until we start this trial, all options are on the table.”

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