After weeks and several increasingly intense days of speculation on the subject of whether or not witnesses will be called in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, the Senate vote on Friday defeated the measure 51-49.
Two Republican senators — Mitt Romney and Susan Collins — sided with democrats on the matter, but it kept Democrats two votes shy of the four Republicans they needed to switch sides in order to grab a simple majority win on the vote to call witnesses.
Senate Majority Leader issued a statement about the vote immediately after it took place.
“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,” McConnell tweeted.
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.
My full statement: https://t.co/SmXFoME7TO
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) January 31, 2020
Though witnesses will officially not be called, it was still unclear on Friday as to exactly how the trial would wrap up. There were indications, according to The Wall Street Journal, that the vote on whether or not to acquit the president could be delayed until as late as next Wednesday.
Between now and then, the Iowa caucuses will take place on Monday, with several candidates who are sitting senators absent from the otherwise can’t-miss affair. The State of the Union address will take place on Tuesday.
Sen. Bernie Sanders weighed in on the unsuccessful vote for Democrats, saying he’s never “heard of a trial without witnesses.”
By a vote of 51 to 49, the Senate refused to subpoena witnesses in this impeachment trial.
I've never heard of a trial where you don't have witnesses.
This is a sad day in American history.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 31, 2020
Delaying the vote until Wednesday would potentially disrupt Trump’s plans of taking an impeachment “victory lap” during the SOTU speech on Tuesday night.