Report: White House Braces For GOP Defections On Impeachment Witnesses

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 3: (L-R) Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) walk together as they arrive to a closed-door lunch meeting of GOP Senators at the U.S. Capitol, October 3, 2018 in Washingto... WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 3: (L-R) Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) walk together as they arrive to a closed-door lunch meeting of GOP Senators at the U.S. Capitol, October 3, 2018 in Washington, DC. An FBI report on current allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is expected by the end of this week, possibly later today. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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January 13, 2020 4:57 p.m.

The White House is preparing for defections from Republican senators when it comes time to vote on calling witnesses to testify in the Senate impeachment trial, according to a new report.

Per CBS News, senior White House officials have identified Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) as likely candidates, with Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) as additional possibilities in the mix.

Last week, the Bangor Daily News reported that Collins was coordinating with a “fairly small group” of Republicans to come to an agreement that would allow witnesses to be called.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) intends to begin the process without deciding on the witness question, leaving that vote until later.

Democrats would need four Republicans to join them on a vote to alter the rules to allow witness testimony. This issue attracted more scrutiny after former National Security Adviser John Bolton said he would testify if subpoenaed.

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