Mitch McConnell To Vote To Acquit – .
FIFTH UPDATE: The Senate voted to acquit former President Donald Trump for impeachment for inciting siege of the Capitol on January 6, ending a five-day trial.
The Senate voted 57-43 in favor of condemning Trump, short of the 67 required votes. Seven Republicans joined the condemnation with 48 Democrats and two independents.
This is the second time Trump has been acquitted of impeachment proceedings. On January 13, he became the first president to be charged twice.
The Republicans who voted for the conviction were Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, and Pat Toomey. In Trump’s most recent impeachment trial, Romney was the only Republican to vote for a conviction.
Republicans “make no revelation,” warns Bill Maher as the Trump ruling emerges; Steve Schmidt defends the Lincoln project’s mission amid a scandal
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the case against Trump was “open and closed” and called it a “textbook example” of a criminal offense.
“January 6th would not have happened without Donald Trump’s actions,” said Schumer.
Romney said Trump “also violated his oath of office by failing to protect the Capitol, the Vice President and others in the Capitol”.
There’s more to come.
FOURTH UPDATE, 12:10 p.m. PT: The Democrats swiftly went through their final arguments, and senior impeachment manager Jamie Raskin told Senators that Donald Trump had even betrayed the mob that stormed the Capitol.
He was referring in part to Trump’s promise he made at his January 6 rally that he would “be with you” when they marched down to the Capitol.
“The president who contacted you, requested you, lured you, incited you, that president has suddenly gone silent and dark, nowhere to be found,” said Raskin. “He can’t be alarmed coming here to tell us what happened and to tell us why this was the patriotic and constitutional thing.”
“Senators, this process is ultimately not about Donald Trump,” he said. “The country and the world know who Donald Trump is. This process is about who we are. “
“The stakes couldn’t be higher because the cold hard truth is that what happened on January 6th can happen again,” said Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO). “I fear, like many of you, that the violence we saw on that terrible day might just be the beginning.”
Trump’s attorney, Michael van der Veen, attempted to characterize Democrats as “obsessed” with Trump, accusing them of “full impeachment proceedings”. But he went over again what made up the bulk of Trump’s defense: whataboutism, by pointing out provocative statements made by Democrats. He has also mistakenly left left-wing mobs behind as part of the Capitol siege, despite reports of Antifa involvement being exposed.
THIRD UPDATE, 9:55 PT: The impeachment trial of Donald Trump continued after a few confusing hours of the Senate voting to call witnesses but ultimately avoiding just that.
This means that a vote on whether to convict or acquit Trump will likely take place today after impeachment managers and Trump’s lawyers make their final arguments.
Previously, the Senate voted 55-45 in favor of calling witnesses after senior impeachment manager Jamie Raskin (D-MD) called for the removal of Jaime Herrera Beutler, a Republican congresswoman, who said she was informed of a phone call that Trump did with House minority leader Kevin McCarthy when the siege unfolded. Instead of dismissing her, both sides agreed to include her statement in the minutes.
In her statement, Herrera Beutler said: “When McCarthy finally reached the president on January 6 and asked him to publicly and violently end the uprising, the president first repeated the lie that it was Antifa who had violated the Capitol. McCarthy refuted this and told the president that these were Trump supporters. Then, according to McCarthy, the president said, “Well, Kevin, I think these people are more upset about the election than you are.”
It was unclear how the deal headed for not calling witnesses, but such a move could have added weeks to the trial. Trump’s team said it should have been allowed to call one’s own witnesses.
The decision not to ultimately call witnesses was quickly criticized by the Democrats. “Yep. Huge, huge cave. It would have been better not to address the witness problem at all,” wrote Jon Favreau, co-host of PodSaveAmerica.
However, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes wrote on Twitter, “I think you should definitely stop the process and drop witnesses. As many as you need! But in the end, basically everyone wants that behind them because literally no matter what was found, Rs will vote to acquit, and time is precious. That is the long and the short. “
SECOND UPDATE, 7:28 PM PT: The Senate voted to call witnesses in Donald Trump’s impeachment proceedings after reports were made at the last minute of a call the then president made during the siege to House minority leader Kevin McCarthy.
The vote was 55-45. There was some confusion about what the senators had actually voted on – whether they were witnesses in general or just a witness, a Republican congressman, who said she had been briefed on the details of the call.
Five Republican senators voted with Democrats to call witnesses: Ben Sasse, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Mitt Romney. Lindsey Graham changed his voice from no to yes as he said he would like to call House Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi to find out how much she knew about the Capitol threat before the Capitol storm.
Democrats want to call Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), who released a statement Friday night confirming a CNN report on what McCarthy told her about the call. Herrera Beutler was among the Republicans who voted to indict Trump.
In a statement, she said: “When McCarthy finally reached the president on January 6 and asked him to publicly and violently end the uprising, the president first repeated the lie that it was Antifa who violated the Capitol. McCarthy refuted this and told the president that these were Trump supporters. Then, according to McCarthy, the president said, “Well, Kevin, I think these people are more upset about the election than you are.”
“Since I publicly announced my decision to vote for impeachment, I have shared these details in countless conversations with constituents and colleagues, as well as on multiple occasions in the media and other public forums.” She said she was public about the details of the conversation and shared them on another news report and with voters.
Rep Jamie Raskin (D-MD) said the call will provide evidence of Trump’s state of mind.
The decision to proceed with only one witness is likely to prolong the trial after the expectation was that the trial would be completed on Saturday afternoon. All the indications were that Trump would be acquitted as the impeachment managers were not going to reach 2/3 of the convicting members.
If Trump is convicted, he will no longer be able to run for president.
UPDATE, 7:20 a.m. PT: Democrats pursuing the Donald Trump case called at least one witness in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) said the impeachment managers plan to cite testimony from Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), one of the sources on a CNN report that Trump was in a phone call with House minority leader Kevin McCarthy not worried about the siege of the Capitol which played out on January 6th.
Raskin said they would also get Beutler’s notes on the conversation.
According to the CNN report, McCarthy asked Trump to cancel the rioters when the Capitol was attacked, but Trump told him, “Well, Kevin, I think these people are more upset about the election than you are.” The report was based on reports from lawmakers who were informed of the call.
One of Trump’s attorneys, Michael van der Veen, reacted angrily to the new development, arguing, “If you want witnesses, I’ll want over 100 testimonies.” He even called for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris to be removed from his office. Democrats laughed at the comment.
“Now is the time to end this, now is the time to hear final arguments,” he said.
The Senate then voted on whether witnesses could be included in the trial.
It had looked like the Democrats wanted to go through the process quickly without calling witnesses, as it was unlikely that further expansion of the process would sway enough Republican votes to convict. But the exposure of the Trump-McCarthy call changed that equation. Raskin said the call was central to showing Trump’s state of mind during the siege.
Trump was charged with an article inciting a riot.
PREVIOUSLY: Senate minority chairman Mitch McConnell plans to acquit Donald Trump in impeachment proceedings against the Senate, several news outlets reported on Saturday.
It is all the more likely that Trump will not be convicted and that a vote will be possible later that afternoon.
Politico and other sources reported that he wrote a letter to colleagues informing them of his decision. So far, while criticizing Trump’s behavior on Jan. 6, McConnell has declined to say which direction he was leaning in. During the process, he stared straight ahead as Trump’s impeachment managers and legal team made their arguments.
The trial continues on Saturday morning with final arguments unless the impeachment managers try to call witnesses. The Senate allotted four hours for the final arguments, which means a vote could take place in the afternoon.
Democrats were again asked to call witnesses following a CNN report on Friday revealing details of a call from Trump to house minority leader Kevin McCarthy.