The Senate voted to bar new evidence in the impeachment trial Friday, paving the way for President Trump’s acquittal even as several top Republicans acknowledged that his actions toward Ukraine were not appropriate.
Eleven days into the trial, the highly anticipated vote, which was decided 51 to 49, revealed the partisan divisions in the chamber over whether to subpoena witnesses and documents, a step Democrats argued was crucial to weighing whether Trump abused his power in pressuring Ukraine to announce investigations of his political rivals. Among Republicans, only Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Mitt Romney (Utah) supported the resolution.
In declining to add to the case presented by House Democrats, the Senate delivered a victory for the White House that all but guaranteed that Trump will remain in office. With a final vote on the articles of impeachment set for Wednesday at 4 p.m., Democrats argued that Trump’s expected acquittal will be illegitimate, an acknowledgment of their looming defeat.
“If [a] judge or president believes that it is to his or her advantage that there shall be a trial with no witnesses, they will cite the case of Donald Trump,” said Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), one of the House impeachment managers. “They will make the argument that you can adjudicate the guilt or innocence of the party without hearing from a single witness, without reviewing a single document. . . . I would submit that will be a very dangerous and long-lasting precedent that we will all have to live with.”