A final timeline has been set for the impeachment trial endgame after Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell agreed to a deal.
- The deal includes no weekend sessions.
- Closing argument for both sides Monday
- Senate floor speeches Monday to Wednesday and an
- Acquittal Vote: Wednesday afternoon at 4pm EST.
Per TheHill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has postponed a final vote on articles of impeachment against President Trump until Wednesday in the face of opposition from Senate GOP moderates to his plan to wrap up the trial Friday or Saturday without deliberations.
Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), emerging from a Senate GOP conference meeting, said senators now will return to the impeachment trial at 11 a.m. Monday to deliberate with a final vote on convicting or acquitting Trump set for Wednesday.
“There was some feverish discussion,” Braun said.
Politico reports the Senate impeachment trial for Donald Trump will drag into next week, with a vote set for Wednesday afternoon on two articles of impeachment against the president, according to a bipartisan resolution negotiated by party leaders.
Before agreeing to the delay, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) phoned Trump to get the president’s approval, according to a source familiar with the conversation. Trump then signed off on the decision.
The 4 p.m. vote will conclude a 20-day proceeding, only the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history. The Senate is virtually certain to acquit Trump, and even some Democrats may oppose an obstruction of Congress article approved by the House.
Closing arguments in the case will begin Monday at 11 a.m. and will last four hours. Senators will then have until Wednesday’s vote to offer speeches on the trial.
McConnell and Senate Republicans stayed largely united throughout a sometimes chaotic Friday and defeated repeated Democratic efforts to have additional witnesses — particularly former national security adviser John Bolton — deposed as part of the Senate trial. Trump and his defense team vehemently argued against such a move. Senate GOP leaders claimed it could drag out the trial for weeks or months and plunge the Senate into a lengthy legal battle over the extent of executive privilege.
After the Senate voted 51-49 to reject the initial critical motion to debate the witness issue, McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) hammered out an agreement setting out the endgame for the trial. Schumer was given votes on four more motions regarding witnesses and additional evidence for the case, but all were defeated. Exhausted senators then went home for the weekend.
“We’re going to get through hopefully a few amendment votes tonight and then get a resolution that would take us to a landing spot in the middle of next week,” Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R- S.D.) told reporters. “A lot of folks want to address the subject so that gives them a chance on Monday, Tuesday, and part of Wednesday to do that.”
Schumer Friday night said it was “a grand tragedy” to not allow witnesses in the trial.
“America will remember this day—a day when the United Senate did not live up to its responsibilities, turned away from truth and instead went along with a sham trial,” he said.
Senate Republicans suggested scheduling concerns related to the Iowa caucuses on Monday and Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday were behind the possible delay in ending the proceedings. GOP senators spent about an hour hashing out the next steps during their Friday lunch.
White House officials also wanted more time to prepare their closing arguments in the case, said several sources close to the issue. And administration officials said the ongoing impeachment trial wouldn’t hamper Trump’s ability to deliver the State of the Union address.