President Donald Trump on Tuesday showed signs he is backing away from calls for former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter and others to testify in a looming Senate impeachment trial, instead saying he will leave it up to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to decide if witnesses should be allowed.
"Yeah, he can decide, and we'll also have to decide on when we're taking the vote for the USMCA – to me, I'd let the Senate decide on that," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, making a reference to the North American trade deal between the United States, Mexico, and Canada, reports The Hill.
McConnell has said the Senate will be waiting to take up the USMCA after an impeachment trial is completed.
Earlier on Tuesday, McConnell told Fox News Radio that he does not think the Senate trial should include witnesses and that a prolonged trial could result in an "embarrassing scene" for the American people.
Trump, however, had said before he wanted to hear testimony from several witnesses in addition to the Bidens, including the whistleblower whose complaint about his July call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy sparked the Democrats' impeachment inquiry.
He has also called for testimony from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff concerning the whistleblower.
Republican senators, however, have said they would prefer a quick trial leading to Trump's acquittal.
Trump's comments also came after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., wrote a letter calling for four witnesses, including ex-National Security Adviser John Bolton and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.
McConnell called Schumer's outline and call for the witnesses "dead wrong," and said the call for a trial could result in a "nightmarish precedent for our institution."
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