Friday, January 31, 2020

'Ready to vote': GOP prepared to acquit but impeachment trial poised to drag on until early next week

The impeachment trial of President Trump was inching toward a conclusion but is now expected to spill into next week, with Monday the most likely day things will draw to a close.
Disinclined to subpoena witnesses and prepared to acquit Trump on the two articles against him, most Senate Republicans on Thursday were eyeing a few more days for closing arguments and procedural motions before rendering a verdict.
If 51 votes for a resolution to call witnesses fail to materialize in an expected Friday evening roll call, the trial would be on the fast-track to final adjournment.
Some Republicans were still hoping the proceedings might finish on Friday, but trial rules and procedural hurdles could make that impossible.
“It always takes longer than you think it should take — until suddenly it doesn’t take any time at all,” said Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, one of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s deputies.
“I’m ready to vote,” Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota added. “It’s time to bring this to an end.”
Late Thursday, the Senate was to finish the second day of questioning, during which senators were able to submit queries to the House impeachment managers and White House defense team. Next up, scheduled for Friday afternoon, are closing arguments, after which the Senate would finally weigh in on witnesses with a vote on a resolution to determine if consideration of new testimony would be in order at trial.
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