If the Senate votes are a 50-50 split on witnesses, Chief Justice Roberts could decide. I agree with commentators who say he will simply rule that with neither party having a majority, the motion to call witnesses fails. So it takes 4 Republicans to jump the fence.
Ok, who would testify for the Republicans? It’s a good question. In a real courtroom trial, the defense does not have to call witnesses. The defense can simply rest its case, saying the prosecution has failed to prove its case beyond “a reasonable doubt” or a “shadow of a doubt” depending on the crime.
Calling House Manager Adam Schiff, Hunter Biden or Joe Biden would be a disaster for Republicans. I will explain why:
Adam Schiff will be asked about his comment that there was no contact between the whistle blower and his committee, when in fact there was contact. He has already explained this many times, When the whistle blower decided there was sufficient reason to reveal inappropriate demands on the Ukraine as a condition for military assistance, this individual did not know how to go about an official complaint. A staff member on Schiff’s committee recommended to him to get a lawyer and the lawyer would explain to him the proper means of filing a complaint. The complaint would not be immediately turned over to the House Intelligence Committee, but had to be first reviewed by the National Security Council, to be deemed sufficiently urgent and important for the Committee to examine.
Despite Trump’s tweets that Schiff probably wrote the whistle blower’s complaint, the bottom line is that the Intelligence Committee acted properly in telling the whistle blower to get a lawyer.
If Adam Schiff is asked to divulge the name of the whistle blower, he would simply respond that the identity of the whistle blower is protected by law.
Hunter Biden + Joe Biden
Democrats would immediately object to calling Hunter Biden on the basis of foundation and relevance. There has been zero evidence introduced to support the allegation that Hunter Biden did anything wrong by serving on the board of Burisma. However, Trump has pushed a false allegation that Joe Biden was involved in a scheme to benefit his son as follows: Vice President Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to dismiss their General Prosecutor Shokin so that the corrupt practices of Burisma could continue, hence his son could continue his lucrative position on the Board.
Just the opposite is true and the facts are all on Joe Biden’s side. The firing of Shokin made it more likely that Burisma’s investigation would continue. It is part of the testimony record of witnesses that the Shokin was not reforming the corrupt system in the Ukraine and numerous organizations including the International Monetary Fund and the leaders of the European Union wanted him out. Any claims of wrongdoing by Joe Biden are really limited to a barrage of tweets and Fox News commentary.
Calling Hunter Biden to testify would backfire. No one is sure of the exact payments he received, and any revelation would be immediately objected to as irrelevant. It is very common for a corporation to bring in individuals from outside the company who can help the company establish its image and reputation. President Ford was on dozens of corporate boards, making a lot of money in director fees. He did nothing wrong and neither did Hunter Biden.
Republicans, I think, like more of talking about Hunter Biden than actually calling him to testify. His past drug problems and infidelity are irrelevant to the Senate hearing, but great for the tabloids.
So, I’ve yet to hear of a witness that Republicans seriously could call to testify.