A new poll shows that a significant number of Republicans want to see witnesses at Donald Trump‘s impeachment trial.
The poll from SurveyUSA found that 71 percent of GOP voters believe that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should call witnesses in the upcoming trial that will determine whether the president should be removed from office. As Newsweek noted, the poll found that voters across the political spectrum agree. A total of 93 percent of Democratic voters and 81 percent of Independents said that witnesses should be allowed to testify.
Few are in disagreement. Just 15 percent of Republicans, 7 percent of Independents, and 4 percent of Democrats said there should not be witnesses.
The issue was at the forefront as the impeachment trial kicked off this week. Democrats are seeking to call a number of top White House officials who had firsthand knowledge of the president’s alleged attempts to pressure Ukraine into launching an investigation of political rival Joe Biden. Republicans, led by McConnell, have pushed back.
At the trial on Tuesday, Democrats proposed an amendment to the rules that would allow them to issue subpoenas for additional documents and witnesses. As the New York Post noted, the Senate voted along party lines to table the amendment, but the topic is sure to come back again during the trial.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had withheld transmitting the articles of impeachment for several weeks as Democrats insisted on knowing the Senate rules for the trial and made a public push for witnesses. During that time, there were a series of damaging revelations against Trump, including newly released emails that showed the Pentagon’s worry about the president withholding military aid for Ukraine.
As the report noted, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the public deserves to see the information that the White House has been withholding.
“The witnesses I’ve requested have gotten a lot of attention — and rightfully so,” Schumer said.
“The documents are of equal importance. People should understand that the documents can shed as much light on why the [military] aid was cut off, who did it, and how it evolved, as the witnesses. And we feel very strongly that we need documents and that’s why it’s our first call.”
The latest poll results suggest that the American public would side with Schumer, though with Republicans holding a 53-47 edge in the Senate, they would have the ability to block any requests from Democrats and have full power to set rules for the trial.