HARRISBURG (KDKA) — Pennsylvania’s senators will face off during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
Amidst worries from some Democrats that the Republican-controlled Senate will not hold a fair trial on President Trump’s impeachment, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat, was blunt.
“The American people expect, and have the right to expect, a fair trial, and I think a major element of that would be to have witnesses,” Casey told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Wednesday.
But Casey’s Republican colleague, U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, said it’s too soon to know if witnesses are needed.
“You allow the impeachment managers to make their case, as long as it takes. You allow the president’s defense attorneys to make their defense, as long as that takes,” said Toomey.
Toomey implies he might be open to witnesses but only after the initial presentations.
“By the end of that, we will have an informed judgment about whether we need additional witnesses, whether we need testimony, whether we need documents or not, and if so, which ones,” Toomey said.
But Casey said witnesses, like former security advisor John Bolton and White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney — whose testimony was blocked in the House by the president — must be called to testify in the Senate.
“We need to put all the evidence on the table,” said Casey.
Casey drew parallels between Trump’s conduct and those of state lawmakers who have been jailed for using their offices politically.
“People have been prosecuted for that in Pennsylvania and a lot of other places when you use government to do political work.”
That would include former House Speakers John Perzel — a Republican — and Bill DeWeese, a Democrat, along with Republican PA Sen. Jane Orie and Democratic PA Rep. Mike Veon, among others.
But Toomey, so far, doesn’t see a two-thirds Senate vote to convict the president.
“Based on what’s in the public realm, I haven’t seen anything that suggests to me that there’s going to be 67 votes in the Senate [to convict],” Toomey said.
The impeachment trial is expected to begin next week in the Senate.