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Dems Look to Counter GOP's Quick Vote to Acquit

Republicans could move to end impeachment trial as early as Friday
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2020 9:16 AM CST
Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., with Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., left, and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(Newser) – Senate Republicans are considering holding a vote to acquit President Trump in his impeachment trial as soon as Friday, and Democrats are plotting their response. If the Senate votes against bringing in documents or witnesses, the rules would allow Democrats to offer new motions, Politico reports. The Republican majority could then move to end debate and vote on whether to acquit. "The question is going to come to 'Have you heard enough to make a decision or do you want witnesses?'" says Sen. John Barrasso. "If people say, 'We're ready to vote,' we're going to vote right then."

Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, declined to say what the Democratic strategy would be in that case. "I think we are exploring what our options would be if we lost that witness vote,” says Sen. Chris Murphy. "The rules don’t provide for anything." It's possible that some GOP senators would oppose a move to end the trial that soon; a couple of them have resisted a fast pace. Among Republican strategies is to encourage voters to not pay attention to the trial, possibly helping to mute a public outcry at ending the trial quickly. "I would suggest that the American people, if they could turn their channel and watch something else, that is what they are doing," said Sen. Mark Meadows, per the Hill. Democrats disagree. "This is not a television show, and it shouldn’t be thought of, or judged, based on the standard of what is entertaining television," Sen. Kamala Harris said. (Read more Trump impeachment stories.)

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