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The Senate vote that is expected to acquit President Donald Trump of the articles of impeachment against him will be held on Wednesday. This comes after Senate leaders received pushback from Democrats and moderate Republicans about holding the vote either Friday night or Saturday.
The Hill quoted an unnamed Republican senator as saying a few GOP senators opposed the plan for a Friday or Saturday vote, threatening the unity needed to acquit Trump.
“For us to do to what we want to do, we all got to want to do it,” the senator said.
Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a moderate who supported calling witnesses, reportedly wanted time for deliberations before the final vote.
Republican Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana, speaking of a meeting among GOP senators, said there was “some feverish discussion.”
Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, who also voted to call witnesses, did not object to a quick vote. “Other members have expressed concerns however,” a reported GOP aide said after a meeting among moderates Romney, Collins, Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
Murkowski rejected Democratic demands for additional witnesses on Friday.
“A fair trial would have been one where we could have remedied the defects that came out of the House. I think we got to a point where you just realize that [it] would never be sufficient to meet the demands of those who were seeking the results they wanted,” she said.
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“We started with a flawed product. I’m at that point where I’m frustrated and disappointed — angry at all sides,” she said, according to ABC News.
The Wednesday vote came together through a combination of factors.
“A lot of folks want to address the subject so that gives them a chance on Monday, Tuesday, and part of Wednesday to do that,” Senate Majority Whip John Thune of South Dakota said, according to Politico.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell consulted with Trump before the schedule was adopted. Trump, who gives his State of the Union address Tuesday, signed off on the delayed vote, according to The New York Times.
“The president is gratified that finally — at long last, after multiple delays — the Senate will set a schedule for his acquittals quickly as possible,” said Eric Ueland, Trump’s legislative affairs director, according to The Washington Post. “I do not believe that schedule interferes with his ability to deliver a strong and confident State of the Union message to the House of Representatives and the country next week.”
The delay also addresses the concerns of Democrats. Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York said Republicans “wanted to rush through an acquittal vote tonight” but Democrats wanted “ample time for every member to speak,” according to The Times.
The schedule calls for the Senate to reconvene at 11 a.m. Monday to hear closing arguments from each side and then deliberations in the form of speeches from senators who want to make them. The final vote is set for 4 p.m. Wednesday.
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