Trump's Team to Take Single Day for Impeachment Defense

As House managers rest their case, acquittal seems likely
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2021 2:00 AM CST
Trump Impeachment: Most Republican Senators Seem Unconvinced
Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., the lead House impeachment manager, leaves the Capitol after presenting the case against former President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Former President Trump's second impeachment trial appears destined to end the same way his first did: with an acquittal. House managers rested their case Thursday, day No. 3 of trial No. 2, and the New York Times reports most Republican senators appeared to remain unconvinced. The paper deems it unlikely that the required two-thirds of the Senate will vote to convict. Only a few GOP senators are seen as likely to vote against Trump (Vox has the six to watch here; the Hill has its own look at them here), and even Democratic senators were starting to signal it was time to wrap things up. Both parties appear to support a plan that would quickly end it, with Trump's lawyers planning a three- to four-hour presentation Friday with Q&A following, and a final vote then coming as early as Saturday.

Technically, as CNN reports, his defense team has 16 hours over two days to present its case, after which senators are allowed to ask questions of both teams. Then the teams debate over whether to subpoena witnesses and documents, after which a vote is taken on that matter, but the House managers don't appear likely to ask for that. Four hours of closing arguments are allowed before senators deliberate and then vote. Republican senators are largely explaining their votes to acquit via their reasoning that the trial itself is unconstitutional; in the Washington Post, Georgetown law professor and former DC prosecutor Paul Butler explains why even senators who voted against holding the trial on those grounds should still vote to convict or acquit based on the merits of the case itself. Trump, who is confident he will be acquitted, was seen golfing in Florida Thursday. (More Trump impeachment stories.)

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