Saturday, the Senate unexpectedly voted to allow witnesses at the impeachment trial. Although Senators were expecting to conclude the trial later Saturday, they were surprised that the House managers asked for witness testimony. The decision of the Senate to allow witnesses will more likely prolong the impeachment trial which was expected to be decided later this Saturday.
Meanwhile, five Republicans joined all Democrats in voting to proceed with the motion to call witnesses.
Last night left wing Twitter starting beating up the managers for not calling witnesses & this morning they caved
By a majority vote the Democrats can now force a trial where the House Managers get their witnesses & former President Trump gets none.
A complete farce
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 13, 2021
As the impeachment proceeding appeared to be entering its final stages, there is a renewed focus on Trump’s actions and statements while the U.S. Capitol was being breached. Democrats, together with a handful of Republicans, stated that they want more information about what the former President knew about the violence that ensued at the Capitol on that day and what actions did he took in response to it.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md), the House’s leading impeachment manager, called for the testimony of Herrera Beutler on Saturday morning, as the trial appeared to be headed to a rapid close. The Senate will also take individual votes on specific witnesses asked by the managers and the defense.
In response to this move, Trump’s lawyers stated that they were also ready to call “lots” of witnesses to conduct what the defense team described as an inquiry that the House refused to engage.
Trump lawyer, Michael van der Veen told Senators, “Do not handcuff me by limiting the number of witnesses that I can have.”
At the start of Day 5 of former President Trump's impeachment trial, Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen says: "The only thing I ask, if you vote for witnesses, do not handcuff me by limiting the number of witnesses that I can have." pic.twitter.com/rITkH6iOjK
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) February 13, 2021
Although there are many Senate Democrats who indicated that they did not believe witnesses are needed to prove that former President Trump incited the riot at the Capitol. The Democrats quickly embraced the request by the House managers.
This move came as new development hinted at startling details that could be found in the Senate trial pauses, and House impeachment managers are permitted to depose witnesses.
Meanwhile, there are a handful of Senate Republicans that are weighing in Trump’s conviction and indicated that these details are crucial. Senators wanted to know what the former President did as the violence in the Capitol is taking place.
According to Trump’s defense team, the former President was immediately “horrified” by what happened and took immediate action to send aid to Congress. However, this statement allegedly conflicts with what Trump’s closest allies and news reports stated.
McConnell's acquittal vote will likely shrink the number of Republicans who considered voting to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial, making a conviction on the House's single charge of "incitement of insurrection" unlikely.https://t.co/BrBskrSCUJ axios
— Dr. Joseph Frusci (@JFrusci) February 13, 2021
As the witness question emerged, McConnell made a signal to his colleagues that he would be voting to acquit Trump, breaking Democrats’ long-shot hopes for a big surprise from the longtime Trump ally.
Republicans like Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) pressed Trump’s defense team about the Tuberville episode in a question and answered last Friday. Cassidy wanted Trump’s defense team to address the call that Trump allegedly made with Sen. Tommy Tuberville last January 6 as the riot was happening.
According to a report, Trump allegedly called Tuberville to urge him to make additional objections to the Electoral College vote in a futile effort to block Congress’ certification of President Biden’s win. However, Cassidy walked away unsatisfied by the response he received from Trump attorneys.