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Friday, January 31, 2020
Senate Sets Wednesday ACQUITTAL Vote in Trump Impeachment Trial
(Senate Television via AP)
The Senate leaders struck an agreement Friday in President Trump’s impeachment trial that set up a vote Wednesday to acquit the president.
The deal will keep the impeachment vote hanging over Mr. Trump’s head as he delivers the State of the Union address Tuesday in the House chamber, though he is all but guaranteed acquittal in the GOP-run chamber.
The president’s team welcomed the agreement.
“The President is gratified,” said Eric Ueland, the White House liaison to Congress. “We do not believe that that schedule interferes with his ability to deliver strong and confident State of the Union in the House Of Representatives.” The final arguments from both sides in the impeachment case are expected Monday, followed by floor speeches by senators Tuesday and a final vote on acquittal Wednesday, said Republican senators.
The deal sends senators home for the weekend after a nearly two-week trial.
“Monday there’ll be some time for final arguments. I think that’s four hours equally divided,” said Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri Republican.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, negotiated the impeachment endgame after the chamber struck down Democrats’ bid to extend the trial with more witnesses and documents.
House Democrats impeached Mr. Trump without any Republican support Dec. 18. They passed two articles of impeachment, abuse of power for pressuring Ukraine to investigate a political rival, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, and obstructing Congress for not cooperating with the impeachment inquiry.
The vote to extend the trial failed in a 51-49 vote, with two Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah, joining the entire Democratic caucus in voting yes.