Trump Trial Extended as Senate Votes to Hear From Witnesses - UPDATED
UPDATE: Just hours after voting to hear witness testimony, the Senate has reversed course and decided to skip witness testimony and simply include GOP Rep. Herrera Beutler's statement into evidence for the Senate trial record instead.
On Saturday, the Senate voted 55-45 to extend former president Trump's impeachment trial by hearing testimony from witnesses. Five Republicans broke party lines and voted with all of the Democrats to listen to witness testimony.
The surprising vote caught many of the Senate members off-guard. Trump's defense team concluded their case on Friday and most members were expecting a quick vote to convict or acquit.
Many believe that the Senate vote to hear witnesses is a result of Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler's (R)-Wash. testimony on Friday in which she relayed the details of a tense phone call that took place between Trump and House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, in the midst of the insurrection.
In a statement, Beutler said, "When McCarthy finally reached the president on January 6 and asked him to publicly and forcefully call off the riot, the president initially repeated the falsehood that it was antifa that had breached the Capitol." Added Beutler, Trump repeatedly refused to call off the rioters when McCarthy begged him to do so.
Trump's lawyers strongly disagreed with the Senate decision to call witnesses and have "threatened" to depose 100 people and, consequently, drag out the case, if the door is left open for witness testimony.
Photo Source: congress.gov