Ted Cruz on impeachment: 'Pelosi can testify as to when she knew about the threats on the Capitol'

"My view is we don't need witnesses, but I think if the Democrats want to open this Pandora's box, I don't think it's going to work out well for them," the Texas Republican said.

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz said on Saturday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is "clearly" a relevant witness in the impeachment trial of Trump, adding that she could explain when she knew about threats on the U.S. Capitol ahead of the Jan. 6 riot.

"If we do call witnesses, it is not going to be one-sided," Cruz said. "It is not going to be only the House managers get witnesses and President Trump doesn't get witnesses.

"If the House managers call Representative [Jamie] Herrera Beutler, I think it is very likely President Trump's lawyers will call Nancy Pelosi. Nancy Pelosi is clearly a relevant witness to this matter. Speaker Pelosi can testify as to when she knew about the threats on the Capitol, what she knew specifically.

"We heard already that the House sergeant at arms turned down National Guard protection for the Capitol on January 6th because of, quote, the optics. I think Speaker Pelosi can testify as to whether she made a decision based on optics, based on politics, not to have additional protection at the Capitol to prevent the terrorist attack that played out."

Cruz said he personally does not think witnesses are needed in the trial.

"My view remains we don't need witnesses, but I think if the Democrats want to open this Pandora's box, I don't think it's going to work out well for them," he predicted.

Cruz told reporters that the trial could last for the rest of the month or longer if Democrats begin calling specific witnesses to testify. He said Republican senators are welcoming the potential of a drawn out trial.

"I just came from the Republican cloakroom," Cruz said. "There are a lot of Republican senators who are saying, 'Alright, fine, if you want to drag this out, every day we are in this trial is a day the Democratic majorities are not destroying the country, are not passing policies that are killing jobs and putting people out of work and keeping kids out of school.' I think Schumer is trying desperately to get out of this dead end into which they have driven themselves."