Per TheHill, Senate Republicans rejected a mid-trial effort to call witnesses and documents on Friday, paving the way for President Trump’s acquittal on two articles of impeachment passed by the House.
Senators voted 51-49, with Republican Sens. Mitt Romney (Utah) and Susan Collins (Maine) breaking ranks to join Democrats in voting for witnesses. Fifty-one votes were needed to approve witnesses.
The vote is a significant win for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Trump, letting them bypass a messy floor fight over hearing testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton and other witnesses.
The GOP leader has said publicly and privately that he did not want witnesses, warning that it set up a “mutually assured destruction” because both sides would call controversial witnesses.
McConnell has issued a statement after the vote to block witnesses:
“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.”
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. We have no interest in establishing such a new precedent, particularly for individuals whom the House expressly chose not to pursue.
Senators will now confer among ourselves, with the House Managers, and with the President’s counsel to determine next steps as we prepare to conclude the trial in the coming days.”
Motion to allow subpoenas for new witnesses and/or documents fails, 49 YEA, 51 NAY.
Party line vote except GOP Senators Romney and Collins joined with the 47 Democratic Senators
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 31, 2020
The vote on witnesses FAILS, 51-49, as expected.
— Addy Baird (@addysbaird) January 31, 2020
Sen. Blumenthal on witness vote: “I thought about all the reasons I wanted to be a senator…and I was so bitterly disappointed in my colleagues for voting uniformly in a partisan way and putting party above country” https://t.co/vwxdcibO1r pic.twitter.com/2KWIV9AeQi
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 31, 2020
This article first appeared on TheConservativeOpinion.com