Trump impeachment trial: Senate votes no to witnesses, acquittal vote Wednesday

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Trump impeachment trial: Senate votes no to witnesses, acquittal vote Wednesday
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Trump impeachment trial: Senate votes no to witnesses, acquittal vote Wednesday
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Before Friday’s session of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial began, the spotlight was on four moderate GOP senators Democrats hoped would vote with them on allowing new witnesses, but by evening, after days of arguments meant to persuade the Republicans, Democrats had lost the crucial issue by a vote of 51-49.

A member of the Senate’s GOP leadership, Sen. Roy Blunt, said a final vote on acquittal was set for 4 p.m. Wednesday, the day after Trump is scheduled to come to the Capitol to deliver his State of the Union Address. He had left the White House before the Friday vote headed for his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Democratic hopes for witnesses were dashed earlier in the day when Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, one of the targeted moderates, announced she would vote “no” just as Friday’s Senate trial session was getting underway.

Democrats worked to sway her following revelations from former national security adviser John Bolton earlier in the week that seemed to undermine the president’s defense.

But Democrats ultimately failed, even though, just before her announcement and ahead of the start of the day’s session, The New York Times published a new account of additional details from Bolton’s book in which he says Trump directed him in May 2019 to help the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, set up a meeting with Ukraine’s president. If true, that would have been two months before Trump’s controversial July 25 phone call with Volodymyr Zelenskiy — a key issue in the trial.

Republicans had hoped to move to a final vote on whether to acquit the president shortly after the vote on witnesses — but ABC News’ John Parkinson reports Blunt said the Senate would continue voting on Democratic amendments to a resolution on next steps Friday night, then take off the weekend before returning Monday for closing arguments and a chance for senators pn Monday and Tuesday to explain their votes on the Senate floor.

You can read the rest of Trish Turner, Quinn Owen, Stephanie Ebbs, Allison Pecorin, Mariam Khan, and John Parkinson’s article at ABCnews.com

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