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3 Democratic Senators Could Be Leaning Toward Acquittal

Republicans hope to wrap trial up Friday
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2020 8:27 AM CST
Sen. Joe Manchin talks to reporters before attending the impeachment trial of President Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
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(Newser) – President Trump's defense rested its case in his impeachment trial Tuesday, with White House lawyers urging senators to vote to acquit—and at least three Democrats may end up joining Republicans in doing so. Politico reports that Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and Doug Jones of Alabama are still undecided and say they won't know whether to vote to convict until the trial is over. "I am leaning in certain ways but I want to hear, I truly, honestly, want to hear the entire trial," says Jones, who is up for reelection in a red state this year. At least one of the senators may end up splitting their vote and choosing to find Trump guilty of abuse of power but not of obstructing Congress, or vice versa.

Republican Sens. Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski might buck their party on calling witnesses, but it's not clear whether they would vote to convict the president. A vote on calling witnesses is expected Friday, after 16 hours of questions from senators, which start Wednesday. The Hill reports that Republican senators, who hold a 53-47 majority in the chamber, emerged from a caucus meeting Tuesday expressing confidence that they would have the 50 votes needed to avoid calling John Bolton or any other new witnesses, meaning the trial could end Friday. Senators say Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told the meeting that a vote to bring in new witnesses could extend the trial for weeks. (Read more Trump trial stories.)

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