Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) is said to be proposing the idea of Republicans offering their Democrat colleagues a “one-for-one” witness swap in the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
Toomey has floated a possible trade during discussions with several senators in the past week, three unnamed Republicans told the Washington Post.
The Post reports:
Toomey has confided to GOP senators that proposing a “one-for-one” deal with Senate Democrats may be necessary at some point, particularly with pressure mounting for witnesses to be called, according to the officials, who requested anonymity to discuss private conversations.
The proposal also came up in private conversations at Monday’s closed Senate GOP lunch, according to the officials and a Senate aide briefed on the meeting.
Toomey, who is not up for reelection until 2022, is close to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). He is not close with the president or top aides in the White House.
McConnell, however, is so far discouraging Toomey’s suggestion from becoming the party’s position. Instead, he told Senate Republicans during Monday’s lunch to wait on any witness deal proposal until after Trump’s legal team is done making its defense on the Senate floor, underscoring a position he has held for weeks, the officials said.
The development comes as Democrats are renewing their call to hear from former National Security Advisor John Bolton, whose upcoming book claims that President Trump sought to tie U.S. military aid to Ukraine to investigations into Joe and Hunter Biden, according to a New York Times report. The Bidens face ongoing allegations of corruption regarding their dealings with Ukraine.