Former US President Donald Trump (File Photo)
Former US President Donald Trump (File Photo)

US Senate votes to call witnesses in Trump impeachment trial

ANI | Updated: Feb 13, 2021 23:03 IST

Washington [US], February 13 (ANI): A majority of members in the US Senate have voted to call witnesses in the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.
The vote was 55 to 45. Five Republicans voted alongside Democrats to pass the motion. They were Senators Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney Ben Sasse, and Senator Lindsey Graham, CNN reported.
Graham, who is considered to be a staunch Trump ally, changed his vote to "aye" at the last minute - presumably to support Trump's lawyers also calling witnesses in addition to the impeachment managers' request.
CNN further reported that the upper chamber of the US Congress was poised to vote Saturday on whether to convict Trump for inciting the insurrection at the US Capitol last month on January 6, but the Democrats' desire for witnesses means the trial is likely to extend beyond Saturday, though senators must vote to approve any witnesses or subpoenas.
According to a source, Trump's impeachment team are surprised by the turn of events this morning. Some who have been helping the team had been making travel plans to leave on Monday, according to a source familiar.

The team was under the impression there would be no witnesses. Now, the source groaned "it will never end."
Another source confirmed they're shocked by this development. While they had floated having a list of witnesses, they hadn't prepared a real list, the source said.
However, the upper chamber has only agreed to allow motions for specific witnesses.
With regard to what happens next, there needs to be another vote on a simple majority basis to subpoena specific witnesses, such as Republican Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler "who the Democrats specifically said they'd like to subpoena" or anyone else.
"If they vote to subpoena a witness, then the trial will slow down dramatically. They may need to recess and find time to depose them. Then after the deposition, the chamber would need to set new guidelines on what to do with the testimony that derives from the witness," CNN reported.
Trump's legal team has urged the Senate to dismiss the trial as unconstitutional given that Trump is no longer in office. (ANI)