Trump on track for acquittal after Senate blocks impeachment witnesses

The Republican Party-controlled US Senate on Friday narrowly rejected the opposition Democrats' motion to call new witnesses and documents for the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump.

As a result, the Senate is expected to acquit Trump of the charges early next week. He is scheduled to deliver his third State of the Union Address on February 4. The move to invite new witnesses was defeated by 51 to 49 votes.

In the 100-member Senate, the Republican Party has 53 seats and the Democrats 47. Two of the Republican Senators, Mitt Romney and Susan Collins, sided with the Democrats in this vote to call former White House national security advisor John Bolton and other Trump aides to testify.

The Democrats need 67 votes to convict and remove Trump from the White House.

"The vote represented a major victory for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Trump, both of whom have been calling for Republicans to reject the motion and move toward ending the trial, Politico said.

The House, wherein the Democrats enjoy a majority had impeached Trump on two counts of misuse of power and obstruction to the Congress.

The Senate started the impeachment trial last week.

The Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats keep chanting fairness, when they put on the most unfair Witch Hunt in the history of the U.S. Congress. They had 17 Witnesses, we were allowed ZERO, and no lawyers. They didn't do their job, had no case. The Dems are scamming America! Trump said in a tweet moments before the voting on move to call new witnesses.

Democrats = 17 Witnesses. Republicans = 0 Witnesses, Trump tweeted after the vote justifying the Senate vote against the move to call new witnesses.

The vote Friday represented a major victory for Republican leadership, The Wall Street Journal said. According to the Journal, the vote on whether to convict or acquit Trump may not take place until next week, likely on Wednesday.

There was "no need" for the Senate to re-open the investigation which the House Democratic majority chose to conclude and which the managers themselves continue to describe as overwhelming and beyond any doubt, Senate Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell said.

Never in Senate history has this body paused an impeachment trial to pursue additional witnesses with unresolved questions of executive privilege that would require protracted litigation, he said.

We have no interest in establishing such a new precedent, particularly for individuals whom the House expressly chose not to pursue," McConnell told reporters.

We knew this was an uphill fight, said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters.

We're not in the majority; we have a president who strikes fear in the hearts of Republicans, he added.

To not allow a witness, a document--no witnesses, no documents--in an impeachment trial is a perfidy. It's a grand tragedy, one of the worst tragedies that the Senate has ever overcome. America will remember this day, unfortunately, where the Senate did not live up to its responsibilities, where the Senate turned away from truth and went along with a sham trial, Schumer said.

If the president is acquitted with no witnesses, no documents, the acquittal will have no value because Americans will know that this trial was not a real trial. It had no witnesses, no documents, is a tragedy on a very large scale, the Senate Minority Leader alleged.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described it as a "sad day" for America.

"The Senate Republicans' vote against calling witnesses and compelling documents in the impeachment proceedings makes them accomplices to the President's cover-up, she said.

The President was impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. He is impeached forever. There can be no acquittal without a trial. And there is no trial without witnesses, documents and evidence, she added.

It is a sad day for America to see Senator McConnell require the Chief Justice of the United States to preside over a vote which rejected our nation's judicial norms, precedents and institutions to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law, Pelosi said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel