BREAKING: Dem Senator to Force Vote Requiring Roberts to Weigh in on Witnesses

According to a breaking report from TheHill, Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md) is planning to force a vote Friday that will require Justice John Roberts to subpoena impeachment witnesses he believes are relevant and rule on claims of executive privilege.

Yesterday, President Trump mentioned Van Hollen and tweeted:

Really pathetic how @FoxNews is trying to be so politically correct by loading the airwaves with Democrats like Chris Van Hollen, the no name Senator from Maryland.

He has been on forever playing up the Impeachment Hoax. Dems wouldn’t even give Fox their low ratings debates….

…..So, what the hell has happened to @FoxNews. Only I know! Chris Wallace and others should be on Fake News CNN or MSDNC. How’s Shep Smith doing? Watch, this will be the beginning of the end for Fox, just like the other two which are dying in the ratings. Social Media is great!

Per The Hill, the move comes as GOP senators are increasingly confident they will have the votes to block witnesses from being called.

If Democrats are able to muster four GOP votes to allow witnesses, both sides could then make motions for specific individuals and documents. Under the rules resolution, the Senate would vote on the motions.

But Van Hollen’s effort would let Roberts issue subpoenas if he thinks a motion is relevant. The Senate, if it disagreed with his decision, could still overrule him with a simple majority.

“A fair trial includes relevant documents and witnesses. And in a fair trial the judge determines what evidence is admitted,” Van Hollen said in a statement. “My motion ensures the Chief Justice will serve the same role as a judge in any trial across our country – to allow the Senate access to the facts they need to get to the truth.”

The motion, according to text from Van Hollen’s office, would require Roberts to issue subpoenas for witnesses or documents requested by either side if he “deems them likely to have probative evidence relevant to either article of impeachment.”

Van Hollen would also require Roberts to referee any claims of executive privilege.

Democrats want to subpoena four witnesses, including former national security adviser John Bolton and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. President Trump is likely to invoke executive privilege on both to prevent them from testifying if they were subpoenaed by the Senate.

Read more here.