In a surprise move, the Senate voted to hear witnesses to Trump’s impeachment trial

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WASHINGTON – In an unexpected development, the Senate voted Saturday morning to consider testimony in the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.

A hearing was expected on Saturday without any witness testimony. But it could continue long after the Democratic House impeachment managers, who serve as prosecutors, made the surprise decision to request testimony from at least one Republican member of Congress, who said Trump has rejected a petition for help during the capital riot on 6 January. Accused of abetment.

The Senate voted along party lines, 55 to 45, to begin the process of allowing most witnesses to consider. Five Republicans – Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, Ben Sas of Nebraska, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina – proposed with Democratic senators.

The details of when, when and how many witnesses can be summoned are to be determined. The trial went on when the senators proceeded.

Trump’s defense team created uproar over the announcement. Attorney Michael Van der VN vowed to demand “at least more than 100 deposits” if the Democrats move forward with any witnesses, and he bounced back on them to an agreement about a “last-minute trial” Accused of leaving.

“I think it’s unfair and unfair,” Van der Veen said. “We should close the case today.”

Sen. Jeff Merkle, D-Ore., Told NBC News that it could be decided to suspend the trial for a “week” while testifying to the Democratic-controlled Senate, which allows the chamber to provide President Joe Biden Kovid-19 relief. Will allow to focus on the plan. And other issues.

Manager of lead impeachment Rep. Jamie Ruskin, D-MD. Soon after the proceedings resumed on Saturday morning, he announced that he wanted to hear from the rape. Jaime Herrera Beatler, R-Wash.

Herrera Beutler, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, made a statement late Friday in which she explained about House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-California, with Trump Spoke on the phone. Capitol attack. According to Herrera Beatler, Trump rejected McCarthy’s request for help and took sides with the rioters.

“When McCarthy finally reached the President on 6 January and asked him to publicly and forcefully riot, the President initially repeated the lie that it was Antifa that dissolved the Capitol,” Herrera Beutler McCarthy told him Told.

According to Herrera Beatler: “McCarthy denied that and told the president that these were Trump supporters. When, according to McCarthy, the president said: ‘Well, Kevin, I think these people are more upset about the election. ‘ “

Ruskin said he wanted to subdue Herrera Beutler to testify via teleconference and to leave any notes taken on the call, as well as other subpoenas, leaving the door open. .

“Needless to say, this is an additional important piece of corroborating evidence, further corroborating the allegations, as well as the duty and desertification of the command as commander in chief of the United States, his state of mind and his To further provoke the rebellion, ‚ÄĚRuskin told the senators.

Trump’s actions and intentions during the riots remain largely a mystery to the public and an important question for many senators.

Several Republicans, seen as swing voters in the lawsuit, asked Trump’s lawyers on Friday what the then president had done to stop the tumor, but the defense largely refused to respond, saying they didn’t Knew because the investigation could be completed even before Democrats appeared before Trump to attack Trump.

Seventeen Republican trumps would need to involve every Democrat to convict on an article of impeachment. He accused of inciting a riot on 6 January, but many suspect that most GOP senators will get any new information from any witnesses.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Told aides on Saturday that he plans to vote to acquit Trump, although before witnesses were asked by managers.

Inside the Senate chamber, when Ruskin announced that he wanted to call Herrera Beutler, the senators looked chattering and confused, who were expected to go on leave next week. Sources said Trump’s legal team also caught the guard.

After it was clear that the vote would pass, Sen. Lindsey Graham, RSC, changed her vote to “Aye,” making the room seem more confused, as Graham is one of Trump’s most loyal allies .

“If the body wants witnesses, we insist that we have many witnesses,” Graham explained on Twitter, adding that we can begin with Speaker Pelosi to answer the question of whether the president had before Whether or not there was reliable evidence of planned violence. Trump said? Did Speaker Pelosi, due to optics, refuse requests by the Capitol Hill Police for additional resources such as the National Guard? “

Both sides were eager to wrap up the trial, with Democrats needing a Senate floor to pursue the Kovid-19 relief package.

But the next steps in the trial are now up in the air, even waiting for Senators’ cars outside the Capitol to take them to the airport for flights they can now miss.

Julie Tserkin and Monica Alba has contributed.

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