GOP Senators Say They Have Enough Votes To Block Witnesses In Trump Impeachment Trial
After the Q&A phase of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial wrapped up Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) revealed that he has just enough votes to prevent witnesses from being called in the Senate trial.
The vote is expected to take place on Friday and would block new witnesses and documents from being presented, bringing the trial to an acquittal verdict as early as Friday.
Preventing new witnesses from taking the stand would take 51 votes, and Democratic leaders would have to sway four Senate Republicans to vote alongside them. “We’ve always known that it will be an uphill fight on witnesses and documents because the president and Mitch McConnell put huge pressure on these folks,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) noted.
The American people want the truth.
Four Republican votes.
That’s all we need for a fair trial with witnesses and documents. pic.twitter.com/QgRpgd02No
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 25, 2020
In the event of a draw between the parties in the highly anticipated vote, Chief Justice John Roberts would could decide to cast a tie-breaking vote.
To date, only Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) has indicated that he would vote in favor of witnesses. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has also suggested that she likely would vote in favor of further evidence.
“We’re going to get it done by Friday, hopefully,” Sen. Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota) stated, after the GOP luncheon Wednesday. He expressed confidence that McConnell would be capable of keeping his members in line.
“If I had to guess, no witnesses,” Rounds said.
Rather than hearing from Former National Security Adviser John Bolton, GOP leadership is preparing for a Friday vote to bring the trial to an abrupt halt in an up-or-down vote on the two articles of impeachment – abuse of power and obstruction of justice.