The Senate on Friday voted to block any witnesses from being called in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, a move that marked the beginning of the end.
The Senate vote Friday to allow subpoenas for witnesses and documents failed 49-51, with two Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah, joining Democrats to back extending the trial.
Democrats decried the failure of the motion.
“America will remember this day, unfortunately, where the Senate did not live up to its responsibilities, where the Senate turned away from truth and went along with a sham trial,” said Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
Later on Friday evening, Senate Republicans voted down four amendments offered by Democrats to call Bolton and White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, among others. Chief Justice Roberts told Schumer before that vote series that he would not break ties in the Senate, after Democrats in recent days raised the possibility Roberts could possibly tip the scales for them during votes on amendments.
“I think it would be inappropriate for me, an unelected official from a different branch of government, to assert the power to change that result so that the motion would succeed,” Roberts told Schumer.
Senate leaders struck an agreement to hold the final vote to acquit Trump on the two articles of impeachment at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, following a debate throughout the day on Friday about how to bring the trial to a close. The impeachment trial will resume on Monday.
The timing means that the acquittal vote will occur after Trump comes up to Capitol Hill to deliver the State of the Union address on Tuesday evening.
After the vote on witnesses, Trump drew attention to the number of witnesses during the House’s impeachment proceedings: “Democrats = 17 Witnesses. Republicans = 0 Witnesses.”
Democrats = 17 Witnesses. Republicans = 0 Witnesses.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 31, 2020