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Senate votes to call impeachment witnesses, throwing trial’s conclusion in doubt

The Senate on Saturday voted unexpectedly to permit witnesses in the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, throwing into doubt the timetable for finishing the proceedings.

After rancorous arguments between the House impeachment managers and Mr. Trump’s attorneys, senators voted 55-45 in favor of calling witnesses.

Five Republicans voted with all 50 Democrats: Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah and Ben Sasse of Nebraska.

Mr. Graham modified his vote to “yes,” saying if the Democrats need witnesses, he envisions a prolonged delay with many witnesses known as by Mr. Trump’s aspect.

The trial had been anticipated to transfer to a remaining vote on Saturday. But Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the lead House impeachment supervisor, opened the session by asserting that Democrats needed to subpoena Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington state as a witness.

Ms. Herrera Beutler reiterated in an announcement Friday evening her declare a few cellphone call between Mr. Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, because the rioters have been attacking the Capitol on Jan. 6. Mr. McCarthy had known as Mr. Trump on the White House urging him to call off the rioters.

“Well Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,” Mr. Trump allegedly informed Mr. McCarthy, in accordance to Ms. Herrera Beutler.

Mr. Raskin informed senators, “Needless to say, this is an additional critical piece of corroborating evidence confirming the charges before you. We want to subpoena her. We would be prepared to proceed by Zoom deposition of an hour or less .. and then proceed to the next phase of the trial.”

Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen objected heatedly.

“If they want to have witnesses, I’m going to need at least over 100 depositions, not just one,” he informed the Senate. “If you vote for witnesses, do not handcuff me. I’m going to slap subpoenas on a good number of people, if witnesses are what is required here.”

Mr. Trump’s authorized staff pushed again on the remark attributed to the previous president, saying Mr. McCarthy has disclaimed the rumor, and that the trial ought to conclude Saturday.

“This entire proceeding is based on rumor, report and innuendo,” mentioned Mr. van der Veen. “We should close this case out today.”

He mentioned if senators voted to permit witnesses, he would want to do a radical investigation and conduct depositions at his regulation workplace in Philadelphia. The Democratic aspect of the chamber broke out in laughter.

“I don’t know why you’re laughing,” Mr. van der Veen mentioned. “That’s civil process. That is the way we lawyers do it. I haven’t laughed at any of you. And there’s nothing laughable here.”

Sen. Patrick Leahy, Vermont Democrat who’s overseeing the trial, known as for order.

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