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Senate Votes to Call Witnesses in Trump Impeachment Trial

House impeachment managers led by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D., Md.) arrive outside the Senate Chamber as the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump begins on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., February 9, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

The Senate on Saturday voted 55-45 to allow witnesses to be called in former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.

Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina joined Democrats in voting to call witnesses, extending the trial which had been expected to end on Saturday.

Representative Jamie Raskin (D., Md.), the lead House impeachment manager, said he wants to subpoena Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R., Wash.) after she said in a statement Friday night that House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) told her that Trump had sided with the mob during a phone call the two had while the January 6 attack on the Capitol was underway.

Herrera Beutler, one of ten House Republicans to vote to impeach Trump last month, confirmed reports that McCarthy had reached Trump by phone on January 6.

The Washington Republican said McCarthy told her that when he spoke to Trump that day and asked him to “publicly and forcefully” call off the Capitol assault, “the president initially repeated the falsehood that it was antifa that had breached the Capitol.”

“McCarthy refuted that and told the president that these were Trump supporters,” Herrera Beutler’s statement said. “That’s when, according to McCarthy, the president said: ‘Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.'” 

The vote to call witnesses comes after Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell told his GOP colleagues in a letter he would vote to acquit Trump.

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