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Senate Votes Against Impeachment Witnesses, Final Vote Likely Next Week

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Senate Republicans Friday night turned back Democratic efforts to have witnesses appear at President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.

Republican Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine sided with the chamber’s 47 Democrats in calling for witnesses. However, Democrats were on the short end of the 51-49 vote that ended days of wrangling over the issue, Fox News reported.

“There is no need for the Senate to re-open the investigation which the House Democratic majority chose to conclude and which the Managers themselves continue to describe as ‘overwhelming’ and ‘beyond any doubt,’” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement.

“Never in Senate history has this body paused an impeachment trial to pursue additional witnesses with unresolved questions of executive privilege that would require protracted litigation. We have no interest in establishing such a new precedent, particularly for individuals whom the House expressly chose not to pursue.”

Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the decision a tragedy, according to The Washington Post.

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“No witnesses, no documents in an impeachment trial is a perfidy,” he said. “It’s a grand tragedy. One of the worst tragedies that the Senate has ever overcome. America will remember this day, unfortunately, where the Senate did not live up to its responsibilities, where the Senate turned away from truth and went along with a sham trial.”

The next steps are uncertain.

“Senators will now confer among ourselves, with the House managers, and with the president’s counsel to determine next steps as we prepare to conclude the trial in the coming days,” McConnell said in his statement.

Exactly what that means is not clear. Republicans have said in recent days that they wanted to have a final vote to acquit Trump soon after the issue of witnesses is disposed of. Trump is scheduled to give his State of the Union speech on Tuesday.

Do you think the Senate should end this trial now?

“Let’s go and get this over with for the sake of the American people,” Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said, according to Fox.

It is unknown how much time the Senate will reserve for debate over removing Trump from office and how much time will be used by speeches as senators make their votes.

Democrats want to stall and are planning motions that would make the impeachment debate, which by Senate rules is held behind closed doors, take place in public.

“We are going to use whatever power we have … to prevent it from being rushed through, but right now there is no agreement,” Schumer said.

Trump tweeted his derision of Democrats’ claims that witnesses were necessary, noting the disparity in the House proceedings between witnesses called by Democrats and those called by Republicans.

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Jay Sekulow, an attorney representing Trump, said that through the materials presented in opening arguments, senators had heard from 13 witnesses, seen 192 video clips and read 28,000 pages of documents, according to The Post.

“This idea that they haven’t had witnesses, that’s the smokescreen,” he said. “You’ve heard from a lot of witnesses. The problem with their position is even with all those witnesses, it doesn’t prove an impeachable offense. The articles fail.”

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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