Senate Strikes Deal After 'Stunning Development'

Impeachment witnesses won't be called after all
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2021 10:39 AM CST
Updated Feb 13, 2021 12:35 PM CST
Senate Votes on Allowing Impeachment Witnesses
Republican senators and staff, lower right, talk on the floor after a vote on the motion to allow witnesses in the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.   (Senate Television via AP)

The Senate on Saturday reached a deal that will allow it to skip the calling of witnesses in Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial—this after an earlier "stunning development" in which lead Democratic impeachment manager Jamie Raskin asked that Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler be questioned. Herrera Beutler, a Republican who voted in the House to impeach Trump, was reportedly briefed on a Jan. 6 call between Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. During the call, McCarthy pleaded with Trump to issue a message to the rioters to back off. Trump’s alleged response: "Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are."

The Saturday vote to call witnesses passed 55-45, with five Republicans joining Democrats, per CNN. Trump attorney Michael van der Veen had countered that he would need to call more than 100 witnesses. "If you vote for witnesses, do not handcuff me," he said. What the Senate ultimately chose to do instead was enter a Friday statement from Herrera Beutler about the phone call into the trial record, reports the Hill. House Democrats subsequently began wrapping up their case, reports the AP, with closing arguments up next. (More Trump impeachment stories.)

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