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Impeachment Trial Will Go Into Next Week

Senate approves resolution setting out the timeline for the rest of the trial
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2020 10:32 PM CST

(Newser) – The Senate is taking the weekend off from President Trump's impeachment trial. After voting Friday against hearing from witnesses, Democrats and Republicans came to a deal about how the next five days will go. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer introduced four amendments to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's resolution for how to end the trial, all having to do with subpoenaing witnesses; all were quickly voted down. Sources say Schumer could have dragged things out, but agreed not to if McConnell agreed to schedule the final vote for after Trump's State of the Union address, which is coming up Tuesday. (But sources also tell Politico Trump's lawyers asked for more time to prepare their closing arguments.) Then, per CNN, the Senate voted 53-47 to approve McConnell's resolution laying out the schedule for the rest of the trial, and the trial was adjourned for the night.

Per McConnell's resolution, the trial will resume Monday at 11am Eastern for up to four hours of closing arguments; House managers and Trump's lawyers will get two hours each. Then it will be adjourned again until Wednesday at 4pm Eastern when a final vote on the articles of impeachment will be held (and Trump will almost certainly be acquitted). Between the adjournment Monday and the vote Wednesday, senators will be allowed to make floor speeches on the trial. Senate Majority Whip John Thune explained to CNN that Democrats planned to use "any number of dilatory tactics" to ensure the trial extended beyond the SOTU anyway, essentially forcing McConnell to cut the deal and spare senators late nights and weekend sessions. Sources say McConnell called Trump and got his approval for the timing. Also happening Monday? The Iowa caucuses, 2020's first primary election; the schedule gives the four Senate Democrats running for president time to campaign. (Read more Trump impeachment stories.)

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