71% of Republicans Want Mitch McConnell to Call Witnesses at Trump Impeachment Trial, New Poll Shows

About 71 percent of Republicans believe that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should call witnesses during President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, a new survey showed.

SurveyUSA asked 4,096 registered voters whether witnesses with firsthand knowledge should be allowed to testify, with 71 percent of Republicans, 93 percent of Democrats, and 81 percent of Independents saying witnesses should be allowed to testify. Only 15 percent of Republicans said that they should not be allowed to testify, while 4 percent of Democrats, and 7 percent of Independents said they shouldn't. Only 3 percent of Democrats were unsure, with 12 percent of Independents and 14 percent of Republicans answering not sure.

McConnell released a resolution outlining a plan for Trump's impeachment trial late Monday night that did not guarantee witness testimony. Earlier in January, McConnell said he planned to follow a similar model to that of President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial. "What was good enough for President Clinton is good enough for President Trump," McConnell said, according to The New York Times.

McConnell's office did not immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called McConnell's resolution a "national disgrace" on MSNBC's Morning Joe. "His resolution creates a trial that is rushed with as little evidence as possible, and done in the dark of night," he said. "If they were so confident of their case—if President Trump were, if McConnell were—then why wouldn't they want it in broad daylight? Why are they trying to do things at two in the morning? Why are they saying the record of the existing trial cannot be put in this record but then we can't have new witnesses, new documents? This is just appalling."

Schumer said that Senate Democrats plan to force votes on witnesses and documents.

The survey also asked what the Senate should do if Trump's team tries to prevent witnesses from testifying. Republicans were a little more evenly split on this issue, with 32 percent saying that the Senate should "yield to the president and reach a verdict without the witness' testimony." Another 27 percent said they should insist the witness testify and 25 percent said they should seek the Supreme Court's intervention. The majority of Democrats, or 63 percent, said that Senate should insist that witnesses testify, while 30 percent said the Supreme Court should intervene and only 5 percent said the Senate should yield. More Independents than Democrats and Republicans said the Senate should ask the Supreme Court to intervene with 33 percent, while 44 percent said they should insist on witnesses testifying and 12 percent said they should yield.

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U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) arrives at the U.S. Capitol January 16, 2020, in Washington, D.C. Alex Wong/Getty
71% of Republicans Want Mitch McConnell to Call Witnesses at Trump Impeachment Trial, New Poll Shows | U.S.