Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) told Breitbart News during a press conference call Wednesday that “several Democrats” are squirming over whether to vote to acquit President Donald Trump during the Senate impeachment trial.
Braun held a press conference to discuss the latest developments surrounding the impeachment trial against Trump.
Senate Democrats have been calling for other witnesses, especially former National Security Adviser John Bolton, to testify after leaks from Bolton’s book suggested that Trump had tied foreign security assistance for Ukraine to an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Breitbart News asked Braun why Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and other Democrats are pushing for witnesses when it appears likely that the Senate will acquit Trump of obstruction of Congress and abusing the office of the presidency.
Braun contended that Schumer wants to force Senate Republicans up for reelection to make difficult votes that might harm their campaigns and help Senate Democrats’ electoral chances.
The Indiana Republican said:
Their motive is very clear. The six [Senate] toss-up seats are very competitive Senate seats here in November of 2020. I found out how absolutely political everything that is done here is when I ran, and especially in the general election. That’s when all the outside money gets dumped in, and they [Democrats] don’t like Citizens United but outspend Republicans by a large factor, some of the hypocrisy in this place.
So, Chuck Schumer is playing. He knows that there’s going to be acquittal. I tell any senator that’s on the fence: If you’ve got more information, even if you take what they’re talking about with Bolton, are you going to vote to convict? Most haven’t even thought that through and probably not. And then it’s delaying it, and if you feel like I do that, it has such an ill-founded foundation to get here; I think it’s not that difficult of a decision.
Braun said that the Democrats are using what they deployed against Republicans during the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings by delaying the vote and using the process for upcoming elections.
“Bolton is just one of the things that will be dribbled out just like in the Kavanaugh hearings to where when your case was weak you go for delay and try to milk it in other ways,” he said.
A Politico report suggested that Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Doug Jones (D-AL), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) may vote for acquit Trump during the impeachment trial.
Manchin also said that he believes that Hunter Biden is a “relevant witness” for the impeachment trial.
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) January 29, 2020
Braun said that although he believes that red-state Democrats such as Manchin may vote for additional witnesses during the trial, senators such as him may end up voting to acquit the president.
I think this idea that this is only a Republican issue of getting all of your troops in line, I think Joe Manchin, who has been talking about wanting witnesses, well everybody will say that because in a trial, a regular trial, witnesses are part and parcel of it. This is a political trial, and we’ve had 17 of them in the House. Now, will the 18th give you that marginal information you need or do you look at the constitutional underpinnings that make the case week? Every senator has to take all of that into consideration and try to reflect on what you’re constituents back home want to do. It’s a tricky combination. I wouldn’t be surprised if Joe Manchin, if we get to witnesses, votes for it but then maybe votes for acquittal when we get to it.
“There are several Democrats that are squirming about what to do,” Braun said.