Four Republican senators met with McConnell Tuesday to discuss a proposal for “witness reciprocity” during the impeachment trial, a Senate GOP aide and another official familiar with the meeting said.
Sens. Ted Cruz (Tex.), Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), John Cornyn (Tex.) and Mike Lee (Utah) pitched McConnell on the plan ahead of Tuesday’s Senate GOP luncheon, according to the officials, who were not authorized to speak publicly about the meeting.
Cruz told McConnell during the 30-minute meeting that if Democrats get a certain witness during the trial, such as former national security adviser John Bolton, then Republicans should get a witness of their own, such as Hunter Biden, one of the officials said.
Cruz has long said Trump should be able to get the kind of witnesses he wants in a trial, while Democrats have balked at the prospect of having the Bidens or other GOP-sought witnesses testify, arguing that doing so would allow Trump to divert attention away from his own alleged wrongdoing.
McConnell seemed receptive to Cruz’s idea, both officials said, and Cruz later spoke about the proposal in the broader Senate Republican lunch.
News of the meeting was first reported by Politico.
The president’s son Donald Trump Jr. tweeted approvingly of Cruz’s idea Tuesday night.
“I love @tedcruz’s plan of witness reciprocity,” he said. “The American people want to hear from #wheresHunter Biden, #sleepyJoe Biden, #fullofschiff, the phony ‘whistleblower’ etc. much more than they do anyone on our side especially since the house had free reign of witnesses for months.”