Cruz Explains How Long Impeachment Trial With Witnesses Could Last

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Posted: Jan 20, 2020 7:30 AM
Cruz Explains How Long Impeachment Trial With Witnesses Could Last

Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

If additional witnesses are called, the Senate impeachment trial could last as long as eight weeks, if not more, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said Sunday.

“I think it’s certainly possible that this trial could last one to two weeks,” Cruz told Fox News’s Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures.” “On the other hand, if the Senate makes the decision to go down the road of additional witnesses, that could extend it to six to eight weeks or even longer.” 

A long impeachment trial would certainly complicate the Democratic primary, as Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, and Michael Bennet would have to leave the campaign trail.

The Senate reconvenes Tuesday afternoon, with the trial scheduled to start at 1 p.m.

“This week is going to be the first time in a year that the president has had the opportunity to defend himself, to lay out the facts, to lay out the law, to lay out the actual substance,” Cruz said. 

The Texas senator discussed the idea of witness reciprocity during a meeting last week with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republican leaders—if Democrats call a witness, Republicans would then be allowed to call one, too. Republicans have considered issuing subpoenas to former Vice President Joe Biden, his son, Hunter, and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.

“The Democrats are terrified about seeing a witness like Hunter Biden testify because they don’t want to hear evidence of actual corruption,” Cruz said.

Democrats “blocked all those witnesses in the House,” Cruz added. “They’re not going to succeed in blocking them in the Senate. If they want to go down the road of witnesses, that means the president enjoys the rights to due process, which means he can call witnesses and lay out his defense.”

Bartiromo also asked Cruz about the possibility of seeing a motion to dismiss the articles after the first 48 hours.

“You know, I don’t think it is that likely,” Cruz replied. “And the reason is, I think dismissing this case is a much less attractive option than rendering final judgment and acquitting the president.”

“And the reason is twofold,” he continued. “Number one, if you do a dismissal, a dismissal doesn’t reach the merits. An acquittal, a verdict of not guilty, that verdict stands for all time.

“Nancy Pelosi is going out on TV crowing that the president has been impeached forever,” he added. “Well, when we get to final judgment, the president will have been acquitted forever of these bogus impeachment charges. That’s a much better outcome for the president and for the country.”