WGBH News is airing the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey spoke with WGBH News' All Things Considered anchor Arun Rath during a break in coverage Wednesday. This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Arun Rath: As we speak, Democratic impeachment managers from the House of Representatives have been making their case in front of the Senate. Have you heard from the impeachment managers today or from the president's counsel yesterday anything that surprised you?

Ed Markey: Well, in reality, they laid out a blistering, scalding indictment of President Trump in a way that I don't think the American people have ever fully heard before, with all of the additional detail which has been developed since the impeachment articles were voted out of the House over a month ago. So, this is the whole case, intact. It's very clear that Donald Trump was engaged in a scheme to extract an investigation of the Bidens for $391-million worth of American taxpayer money. So there's the case and right now, yes, the Republicans still won't agree to have Mick Mulvaney or John Bolton or other witnesses that have direct, firsthand knowledge of what Donald Trump was saying and doing and instructing them to execute as a plan at the time of this attempt to extract an investigation from the Ukrainian president to advance his interests politically.

Rath: To most people, the outcome of the impeachment seems like a foregone conclusion. Do you think that there's a chance that this Senate could vote to convict and remove President Trump from office?

Markey: A lot is going to depend upon the evidence which is, in fact, put before the American people. If there are four Republicans who will allow for these witnesses, and again, that's led by Bolton and Mulvaney, to come before us to give us all of the additional detail, then I think it's going to be a very difficult time for many Republicans to vote to exonerate the president. But I think that's why Mitch McConnell is drawing the line. He's saying to his people, you cannot vote to divulge all of this additional information. You cannot vote for all of those additional witnesses. So without question, Donald Trump is saying, 'you can't indict me, you can't impeach me, you can't investigate me.' And he asked all Republican senators to support him in that effort. If that's the case and they vote on that issue in a way to protect Donald Trump, then it's highly unlikely that they would then vote to remove him, and as a result, there would be nothing more than a political cover-up of an extortion scheme by the president to extract an investigation of his political rival for his own political benefit.

Rath: Please correct me if I have this wrong, but I believe during the Clinton impeachment, when you served in the House, you voted against impeachment but urged that Clinton be censured, essentially reprimanded. Do you think that if the Senate in this case does not vote to impeach and remove that something like that, censure, is something that the Senate could negotiate?

Markey: Well, I think it would be a tragedy if the president walks scot-free. But, ultimately, I think history will look back and say that he did in fact have two impeachment articles passed out of the House of Representatives. He's already got a political scarlet letter that has been branded on him because of the impeachment by the House. Whether or not Mitch McConnell would ever allow anything to happen that would sully the president, I think is highly unlikely. The president is bragging today that he has all the material, that the Senate trial doesn't have any of the material, and I think that's just something that's been reinforced by Mitch McConnell. And, as a result, Republicans will fall in line in not censure him, reprimand him or do anything in any way that jeopardizes their relationship, Republican senators relationship, with a Republican base that totally identifies with Donald Trump.

Rath: Well, one question I want ask you quickly before we let you go: the Washington Post has reported that some Democratic senators are privately considering the idea of a witness swap, that they would get John Bolton to testify in exchange for testimony from Joe and/or Hunter Biden. Do you know anything about that, or think that's a good idea?

Markey: I do not believe that's a good idea. Hunter Biden doesn't know anything about what Donald Trump was saying to President Zelensky, doesn't know anything about the attempt by Giuliani or the others to extract the investigation of the Bidens for $391-million worth of American taxpayer dollars. So, Hunter Biden has to have some relevant information. [He] would have to have some information that would advance the trial that we're having right now and he doesn't have any of it. It would just be a red herring that would be inserted into this trial to try to turn it into a circus, which, ultimately, is what I think the goal of the Republican Party is.