Trump impeachment: Senate votes to reject motion for witnesses, documents in trial
Trump’s conviction likely will not be supported by two-thirds of the Senate: the Republican leader announced that he will vote to acquit the former president
On Saturday afternoon, senators unexpectedly refused to call witnesses to the trial of impeachment of Donald Trump and began to hear the closing arguments of prosecutors and defenders of the former president. The unexpected turn of events was prompted by the announcement of Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republican minority in the Senate, who said he would vote to have Donald Trump acquitted of incitement to insurrection..
McConnell’s statement means senators are likely to acquit the former president, as charges require the approval of two-thirds of the upper House of Congress, in which Republicans have half of the mandates..
Prior to that, the trial was interrupted for several hours, as the impeachment managers unexpectedly announced their desire to call witnesses to testify in the case of the Capitol Hill riots on January 6.
Jamie Ruskin, a Democrat on the impeachment management team, said he wants to call GOP Congresswoman Herrera Beitler as a witness to include her testimony in Trump’s evidence..
Trump’s lawyers responded by responding to their desire to call witnesses to testify, including Vice President Kamala Harris, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other high-ranking Democrats..
Senators over 10 voted in favor of calling witnesses this morning, but between meetings, the impeachment managers and Trump’s lawyers struck an agreement to abandon the idea and move on to presenting the closing arguments of both sides..
Four hours are allocated for closing arguments, which will be equally divided between the defense and the prosecution. House of Representatives Impeachment Managers First to Speak.
Final vote on Senate’s acquittal or conviction of Trump is expected to take place later in the afternoon.
Ruskin offered to hear testimony from Jamie Herrera Butler after the congresswoman released a statement about events in Congress on January 6. Republican Herrera Butler, representing Washington State in the lower house of Congress, was among the 10 Republicans who supported the impeachment announcement of the former president. In a statement she released, it said that during the riots on Capitol Hill, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy called Trump and asked him to appeal to the rebels demanding an end to the attack on Congress..
“When McCarthy finally approached the president on January 6 and asked him to publicly and decisively demand an end to the unrest, the president first repeated the false statement that the Capitol had been attacked by antifa representatives,” the congresswoman said in a statement. According to Herrera Butler, McCarthy denied this allegation and, in a conversation with the president, stressed that his supporters broke into the Capitol building..
“It was then, according to McCarthy, that the president said, ‘Well, Kevin, I think these people are more upset with the outcome of the election than you are,” said the congresswoman..
A conviction in the Senate, 100 equally divided between the two parties, requires the support of a two-thirds majority. The prospect of such a voting outcome is highly unlikely, given that on Saturday Mitch McConnell announced that he was going to vote to acquit Trump..
“I firmly believe that impeachment is primarily a tool for removal from office, so it is not our remit,” McConnell said in an email to his party colleagues..
“The Constitution clearly states that crimes committed by the president in the line of duty can be prosecuted after the president leaves office. Given these findings, I will vote for an acquittal, “- said the leader of the Republicans in the Senate..