Trump acquittal now likely Wednesday; Senate nixes witnesses

trump-acquittal-now-likely-wednesday;-senate-nixes-witnesses

Trump acquittal now likely Wednesday; Senate nixes witnesses

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Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, left, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, answers a question during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020.

FILE – In this Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020, file image from video, Senate chaplain and retired Navy Adm. Barry Black gives the opening prayer as presiding officer and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts listens during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Since the trial began, Black’s prayers have at times sought to guide senators through the political turbulence of the moment.

In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., answers a question during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 30 2020.

In this image from video, White House adviser and former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi answers a question during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 30 2020.

As President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial heads into a final day of questions before a vote on whether to call witnesses, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned that a sham trial does not amount to an acquittal of the charges against him.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democrat leading the House prosecutors, says the president’s defense team offered “the most incredible arguments born of desperation” when responding to senators’ questions on Wednesday.

The top Senate Democrat repudiated President Donald Trump’s defense lawyer Alan Dershowitz who now says his headline-dominating argument against impeaching the president was ‘distorted.’

In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., answers a question during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., calls on a reporter during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

A tour guide, center, leads a group of visitors on a tour of Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol Thursday Jan 30, 2020, in Washington.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, before the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

In this image from video, presiding officer Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts gets a card with the question submitted by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., aside as declines to read the question as written during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 30 2020.

In this image from video, personal attorney to President Donald Trump, Jay Sekulow, answers a question during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 30 2020.

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, walks to the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, during a break in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Trump attorney Alan Dershowitz is complaining about the portrayal of his testimony Wednesday that a president, if he believes his re-election is in the “national interest,” is essentially immune from impeachment for actions in support of that idea.

In this image from video, a video is displayed as Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., answers a question during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 30 2020.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, points toward the elevator as she arrives, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington, for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., second from left, speaks to reporters while standing with Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., from left, and Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

President Donald Trump couldn’t hide his anger over the impeachment trial Thursday as he addressed workers at an auto parts plant in Michigan to celebrate the new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, speaks with reporters during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020.

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee will oppose calling more witnesses in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, all but dashing Democratic efforts to hear more testimony and boosting odds the Senate will vote imminently to acquit.

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, talks to reporters as he arrives at the Capitol for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, in Washington, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., joined by Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., right, speaks to reporters to criticize the process in the Republican-controlled Senate as the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, resumes in Washington, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., pauses as he speaks to reporters to criticize the process in the Republican-controlled Senate as the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, resumes in Washington, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, arrives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says the acquittal of President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial is meaningless with no new evidence and witnesses and will have “no value.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate chamber prior to the start of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the Capitol, Friday,Jan 31, 2020, in Washington.

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, left, and Sen.m Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., return to the Senate chamber after a meeting in the Majority Leaders office during a break in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol Friday Jan 31, 2020, in Washington.

Senators are preparing to vote on calling more witnesses and instead start bringing a close to the third impeachment trial in American history. Lead House manager Rep. Adam Schiff Friday renewed his appeal for witnesses, citing new reporting.

House Democrats made a last minute plea to Senators on Friday to allow witnesses to testify as President Donald Trump appeared headed for all-but-certain impeachment acquittal.

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, left, and Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., return to the Senate chamber after a meeting in the Majority Leaders office during a break in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol Friday Jan 31, 2020, in Washington.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, returns to the Senate chamber after a meeting in the Majority Leaders office during a break in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol Friday Jan 31, 2020, in Washington.

The impeachment proceeding is on display on a television hanging at the bar as Ben Groves prepares drinks at Gauchos Churrascaria, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, in Manchester, N.H.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., right, talks to the media as he returns to the Senate chamber for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol Friday Jan 31, 2020, in Washington.

In this image from video, White House deputy counsel Patrick Philbin speaks during debate ahead of a vote on calling witnesses during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020.

In this image from video, Senators cast their vote on the motion to allow additional witnesses and evidence to be allowed in the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. The motion failed with a vote of 51-49.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, walks to meet with Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, after the Senate voted to not allow witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Senate rejects calling witnesses in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, pushing one step closer to acquittal vote.

Tally for vote to subpoena witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. ;

In this image from video, presiding officer Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts reads the result of the vote to allow additional witnesses and evidence in the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. The motion failed with a vote of 51-49.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate narrowly rejected Democratic demands to summon witnesses for President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial late Friday, all but ensuring Trump’s acquittal in just the third trial to threaten a president’s removal in U.S. history. But senators moved to push off final voting on his fate to next Wednesday.The delay in timing showed the weight of a historic vote bearing down on senators, despite prodding by the president eager to have acquittal behind him in an election year and ahead of his State of the Union speech Tuesday.Under an agreement to be voted on Friday night, the trial would resume Monday for final arguments, with time Monday and Tuesday for senators to speak. The final voting would be Wednesday, the day after Trump’s speech.Trump’s acquittal appeared all but set after a hard-fought effort to allow new witness es was defeated 51-49 on a near party-line vote. Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah voted with the Democrats, but that was not enough.Despite the Democrats singular focus on hearing new testimony, the Republican majority brushed past those demands to make this the first impeachment trial without witnesses. Even new revelations Friday from former national security adviser John Bolton did not sway GOP senators, who said they’d heard enough.That means the eventual outcome for Trump will be an acquittal “in name only,” said Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., a House prosecutor, during final debate. Some called it a cover-up.Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called Friday night’s results “a tragedy on a very large scale.” Protesters’ chants reverberated against the walls of the Capitol.But Republicans said Trump’s acquittal is justified and inevitable.“The sooner the better for the country,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Trump confidant. “Let’s turn the page.”The next steps come in the heart of presidential campaign season before a divided nation. Democratic caucus voting begins Monday in Iowa, and Trump gives his State of the Union address the next night. Four Democratic candidates have been chafing in the Senate chamber rather than campaigning.Trump was impeached by the House last month on charges the he abused power and obstructed Congress like no other president has done as he tried to pressure Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden, and then blocked the congressional probe of his actions.The Democrats had badly wanted testimony from Bolton, whose forthcoming book links Trump directly to the charges. But Bolton won’t be summoned, and none of this appeared to affect the trial’s expected outcome. Democrats forced a series of procedural votes late Friday to call Bolton and White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, among others, but they were all being rejected.In an unpublished manuscript, Bolton writes that the president asked him during an Oval Office meeting in early May to bolster his effort to get Ukraine to investigate Democrats, according to a person who read the passage and told The Associated Press. The person, who was not authorized to disclose contents of the book, spoke only on condition of anonymity.In the meeting, Bolton said the president asked him to call new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and persuade him to meet with Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who was planning to go to Ukraine to coax the Ukrainians to investigate the president’s political rivals. Bolton writes that he never made the call to Zelenskiy after the meeting, which included acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.The revelation adds more detail to allegations of when and how Trump first sought to influence Ukraine to aid investigations of his rivals that are central to the abuse of power charge in the first article of impeachment.The story was first reported Friday by The New York Times.Trump issued a quick denial.”I never instructed John Bolton to set up a meeting for Rudy Giuliani, one of the greatest corruption fighters in America and by far the greatest mayor in the history of NYC, to meet with President Zelenskiy,” Trump said. “That meeting never happened.”Key Republican senators said even if Trump committed the offenses as charged by the House, they are not impeachable and the partisan proceedings must end.”I didn’t need any more evidence because I thought it was proved that the president did what he was charged with doing,” retiring GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, a late holdout, told reporters Friday at the Capitol. “But that didn’t rise to the level of an impeachable offense.”Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said she, too, would oppose more testimony in the charged partisan atmosphere, having “come to the conclusion that there will be no fair trial in the Senate.” She said, “The Congress has failed.”Eager for a conclusion, Trump’s allies nevertheless suggested the shift in timing to extend the proceedings into next week, acknowledging the significance of the moment for senators who want to give final speeches.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the offer to Schumer, but it was not yet final.Under the proposal, the Senate would resume Monday for final arguments, with time Monday and Tuesday for senators to speak. The final voting would be Wednesday.To bring the trial toward a conclusion, Trump’s attorneys argued the House had already heard from 17 witnesses and presented its 28,578-page report to the Senate. They warned against prolonging it even further after House impeached Trump largely along party lines after less than thee months of formal proceedings making it the quickest, most partisan presidential impeachment in U.S. history.Some senators pointed to the importance of the moment.“What do you want your place in history to be?” asked one of the House managers, Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., a former Army Ranger.Trump is almost assured of eventual acquittal with the Senate nowhere near the 67 votes needed for conviction and removal.To hear more witnesses, it would have taken four Republicans to break with the 53-seat majority and join with all Democrats in demanding more testimony. But that effort fell short.Chief Justice John Roberts, in the rare role presiding over the impeachment trial, could break a tie, but that seems unlikely. Asked late Friday, he told senators it would be “inappropriate.”Murkowski noted in announcing her decision that she did not want to drag the chief justice into the partisan fray.Though protesters stood outside the Capitol, few visitors have been watching from the Senate galleries.Bolton’s forthcoming book contends he personally heard Trump say he wanted military aid withheld from Ukraine until it agreed to investigate the Bidens. Trump denies saying such a thing.The White House has blocked its officials from testifying in the proceedings and objected that there are “significant amounts of classified information” in Bolton’s manuscript. Bolton resigned last September — Trump says he was fired — and he and his attorney have insisted the book does not contain any classified information.———Associated Press writers Alan Fram, Andrew Taylor, Matthew Daly, Laurie Kellman, Deb Riechmann and Padmananda Rama contributed to this report.Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Our daily political newsletter featuring local and national updates and analysis.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon disclosed on Friday that 34 U.S. service members suffered traumatic brain injuries in Iran’s missile strike this month on an Iraqi air base, and although half have returned to work, the casualty total belies President Donald Trump’s initial claim that no Americans were harmed. He later characterized the injuries as “not very serious.”

Under the new policy, immigration officials can deny green cards to legal immigrants over their use of public benefits

Schiff delivered Democrats’ final remarks after three days of impassioned arguments detailing charges that Trump abused power.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee declared late Thursday night he will oppose calling more witnesses in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, all but dashing Democratic efforts for more testimony and pushing the Senate toward an imminent vote to acquit the president.

The president has made it a priority to roll back clean-water protections since his first weeks in office, calling the rules an unnecessary burden on businesses.

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a striking shift from President Donald Trump’s claim of “perfect” dealings with Ukraine, his defense asserted Wednesday at his Senate trial that a trade of U.S. military aid for political favors — even if proven — could not be grounds for his impeachment.

LAFAYETTE, Ind (AP) — A federal appeals court sided with a gay married couple who challenged Indiana’s birth records law, arguing that it discriminates against them and their children because birth certificates don’t account for same-sex spouses as parents.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators faced mounting pressure Monday to summon John Bolton to testify at President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial even as Trump’s lawyers mostly brushed past extraordinary new allegations from the former national security adviser and focused instead on corruption in Ukraine and historical arguments for acquittal.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans lack the votes to block witnesses at President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell conceded late Tuesday, a potentially major hurdle for Trump’s hopes to end the trial with a quick acquittal. Earlier, Trump’s lawyers concluded his defense with a plea to move on.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon disclosed on Friday that 34 U.S. service members suffered traumatic brain injuries in Iran’s missile strike this month on an Iraqi air base, and although half have returned to work, the casualty total belies President Donald Trump’s initial claim that no Americans were harmed. He later characterized the injuries as “not very serious.”

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