'A job only half done': Former White House chief of staff condemned Republicans for blocking impeachment trial witnesses


Former White House chief of staff John Kelly discussed calling witnesses in Trump's impeachment trial, saying without them, it leaves the "job only half done."

The Senate failed to approve a motion on Friday that would allow witnesses to testify in the impeachment trial, after only two Republicans sided with Democrats, leaving the final vote at 49-51.

"If I was advising the United States Senate, I would say, 'If you don't respond to 75 percent of the American voters and have witnesses, it's a job only half done,'" Kelly told NJ Advance Media. "You open yourself up forever as a Senate that shirks its responsibilities."

"It seems it was half a trial," Kelly added to NJ Advance Media.

Democrats had hoped to call witnesses, including former national security adviser John Bolton to testify. Bolton said he was "prepared" to testify in the trial if he was called to the stand.

House Democrats subpoenaed during the impeachment hearings Bolton's deputy Charles Kupperman, who filed a lawsuit citing a White House directive not to appear. Kupperman's lawyer also represented Bolton, and signaled the same process would happen if Bolton were asked to testify. The House later withdrew its request, hoping to avoid a drawn-out legal process. Bolton later said he would testify if subpoenaed by the Senate.

An unpublished manuscript of Bolton's upcoming book, reported on by The New York Times, has been alleges bombshell details regarding Trump's alleged pressure campaign on Ukraine, in which he's accused of withholding congressionally approved aid to the country in exchange for an investigation into a political opponent.

Trump and his lawyers have denied any wrongdoing.

Kelly described Bolton as a "a copious note taker" and "an honest guy and an honorable guy," NJ.com reported.

With the impeachment trial likely coming to an end by next Wednesday when the Senate reconvenes to vote on whether to convict or acquit Trump, Kelly told NJ Advance Media that Trump should meet with leaders of both parties and resume working on issues outside of impeachment.

"If I was there, I'd recommend the president have leadership over and say, 'OK, now that this is behind us, let's talk,'" he said. "We can maybe take a breath over the weekend and make a commitment to each other. It would be such a wonderful outreach."

Kelly stepped down as White House chief of staff in December of 2018. He was replaced by acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. In a  a press conference, Mulvaney seemingly confirmed the quid pro quo that ignited impeachment of Trump, before walking back his comments.