Minute By Minute Of The Political Trial Of Donald Trump: Senators Complete The Question Stage Before Voting If Calling Witnesses

The United States Senate has begun the second and final day of the stage of questions to the parties involved in the political trial of Donald Trump.

The seven Democratic congressmen who act as prosecutors (managers) and the defense – composed of both private attorneys and hired especially for the occasion, as well as the White House – will answer for another eight hours questions from the senators about the events in the center of the accusation: that Trump withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine in exchange for the government investigating Hunter Biden, son of one of the Democratic presidential candidates, Joe, and then obstructed Congress’s investigation into the matter.

The Democrats, promoters of the process, seek to convince enough Republicans about the need to call witnesses linked to the case. The main objective is the former National Security Advisor of the White House John Bolton. This is because last Sunday The New York Times published an article in which he indicated that in the book he began writing when leaving the White House, Bolton supports the version of the Democrats regarding the events that led to the political trial. . The former official has already expressed his willingness to testify if he is called to the premises.

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The revelation caused different Republicans to imply that they might be in favor of calling Bolton to testify. The White House, on the other hand, prohibited the publication of the book alleging that it contains “significant amounts of classified information.”

Democrats need at least 4 of the 53 Republicans in the Senate to support their motion. However, the Democratic crusade has lost momentum during the last few days, and the parties involved have suggested that the possibility of obtaining the necessary will seems more distant.

Three senators who were considered as possible allies – Patrick Toomey, Cory Gardner and Martha McSally – were against calling witnesses. And until Thursday, three Republican senators have said they evaluate voting with the Democrats: Mitt Romney, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski.

If senators vote effectively in this way, there would be a tie with 50 votes per side. And there are no legal guidelines that determine what the next step is. Therefore, two possibilities are evaluated: that the president of the Supreme Court and judge in the process, John Roberts, decides to break the tie; or that it is disregarded and, since the Democrats do not have an effective majority, they lose the vote.

The Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, asked at her weekly press conference that, if that scenario occurs, Roberts will make the decision: “Leave it to the president of the Supreme Court,” he said. “I pray and I hope that the Senate has the courage to hear the truth about the President’s actions,” he added.

If the motion to call witnesses fails, the process could end on Friday. Different Republican senators have publicly expressed their willingness to carry out the vote to condemn or dismiss and avoid two stages that occurred during the previous political trial, Bill Clinton in 1999: hear closing arguments from both parties and hold talks to closed doors.

“Personally I have heard enough,” said Senator Mike Rounds, a South Dakota Republican. “I am ready to vote,” he added. Meanwhile, the contrasting argument of the Democrats was illustrated by Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut: “(We are) considering all our parliamentary options to force as many votes as we can” to leave the republican position. “I know they want to watch the Super Bowl, but they didn’t choose them for that,” he closed.

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