Despite Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Susan Collins’ (R-ME) protestations, Republicans still managed to hold the line against dragging the impeachment trial out.
Now that the Senate has voted against calling witnesses in the impeachment trial, Senate Republicans believe the acquittal of President Donald J. Trump will be made official on Wednesday.
The vote to call witnesses was very much in doubt until the last vote was cast on Friday. There were as many as four Republicans that were thought to be contemplating siding with Democrats on calling new witnesses in the Senate trial, which could have dragged it out for weeks longer.
However, when all was said and done, only Sens. Romney and Collins sided with Democrats. When the final tally was counted, the vote to call witnesses was defeated with a 51-49 vote.
After the vote was revealed, Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) stated, “A majority of the U.S. Senate has determined that the numerous witnesses and 28,000-plus pages of documents already in evidence are sufficient to judge the House Managers’ accusations and end this impeachment trial.”
“There is 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.’”
After the vote was taken, McConnell gave Senate members the weekend off. The trial is set to resume on Monday. At that time, closing arguments will be held, then senators will be able to take the floor for 10 minutes each to explain their voting.
If everyone chooses to speak, this will take about 16 hours, but some senators will undoubtedly simply submit a statement for the record in the interests of expediency.
That part of the trial is expected to take up most of Monday and Tuesday, possibly running into Wednesday, depending on how long closing arguments take.
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) confirmed that on Wednesday, McConnell will put up a vote for acquittal. We would expect the voting for that to go down along similar lines as the last witness vote, with the added possibility of several Democrats voting for acquittal.
Considering the outrage over the Romney and Collins vote, it would not be a surprise to see them vote for acquittal as well, even though they did want witnesses to be called.
The worst nightmare at this point for Democrat leadership would be for even a single Democrat to cross over to allow Republicans to tout a bipartisan acquittal, as it will undermine every word that has been coming out of the mouths of Democrat leadership.