Advertisement

Impeachment: Senate vote busts Democrats' push to call witnesses

By
Don Jacobson & Danielle Haynes
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky heads back to the Senate floor after a break during President Donald Trump's impeachment trial on Friday. Photo by Alex Wroblewski/UPI
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky heads back to the Senate floor after a break during President Donald Trump's impeachment trial on Friday. Photo by Alex Wroblewski/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 31 (UPI) -- The Senate on Friday voted 51-49 against a motion to subpoena witnesses and documents in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Mitt Romney voted with Democrats in favor of the measure.

Advertisement

Senators took a break immediately after the vote during which Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York described the outcome of the vote a "grand tragedy."

"America will remember this day, unfortunately, when the Senate did not live up to its responsibilities, when the Senate turned away from truth and went along with a sham trial," he told reporters.

RELATED Impeachment: Rep. Demings brings law and order to House managers team

The outcome of the vote was a forgone conclusion after Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, announced she would vote against witnesses. She, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Collins and Romney were seen as swing votes heading into Friday.

The Senate closed the questioning stage of the trial on Thursday and on Friday entered a phase to consider all motions.

This is the stage at which Democrats hoped to persuade at least four GOP senators to join them and vote to include key witnesses such as former national security adviser John Bolton and and White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.

RELATED Impeachment: Susan Collins to vote for witnesses, Lamar Alexander against

"The House chose to send articles of impeachment that are rushed and flawed," Murkowski said in a statement. "I carefully considered the need for additional witnesses and documents, to cure the shortcomings of its process, but ultimately decided that I will vote against considering motions to subpoena."

After Friday's witness vote, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell introduced a resolution laying out the schedule for the rest of the trial. Monday will be final arguments and a final vote on whether to convict Trump will take place Wednesday.

The Senate passed the resolution.

RELATED Palestinians won't make deal that packages annexation as peace

Trump had hoped to have the trial over with before Tuesday's State of the Union address.

Republicans, meanwhile, tabled four Democratic amendments introduced later Friday. They called for the subpoenas of acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, former national security adviser John Bolton, Michael Duffey, associate director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Mulvaney aide Robert Blair.

Before the close of Friday's proceedings, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who presided over the trial, told senators he won't break any potential ties in future votes.

This week in Washington

Sen. Elizabeth Warren waves to protesters from her car at the U.S. Capitol on Friday. The Senators are voting on whether to call for witnesses. Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo

Latest Headlines