Trump lawyer ‘Philly-delphia’ threat sparks laughter, rebuke in Senate
Here’s who could be called to testify at Trump’s impeachment trial
Senate votes to accept surprise witness request in Trump impeachment trial
Senate Democrats call for 11th-hour witnesses in Trump impeachment trial
The Senate and lawyers for former President Donald Trump on Saturday reached a deal to avoid witness depositions in his impeachment trial — averting a potentially weeks-long drama sparked by an 11th-hour request by Democrats to depose a Republican congresswoman.
The deal allowed for a statement by Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) to be read into the record without the congresswoman or anyone else being deposed as a formal witness.
The compromise allows for the trial potentially to end on Saturday as was initially expected. Trump is expected to be acquitted of inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot in a mostly party-line vote.
Impeachment managers led by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) surprised senators on Saturday morning by saying that they wanted to depose and subpoena notes written by Herrera Beutler regarding Trump’s remarks during the riot.
Herrera Beutler said overnight that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told her that he pleaded with Trump during the riot to call his supporters off, but that Trump told him, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”
Herrera Beutler — one of 10 House Republicans who voted last month to impeach Trump — said in a press release that she was not a direct witness to Trump’s remarks to McCarthy, but that the GOP leader “relayed to me” what Trump said.
Both Democratic and Republican Senate leaders agreed to the compromise of reading her statement into the record.
A fight over witnesses threatened to be a brutal political slog, diverting Washington’s attention for weeks if not months.
“We could conceivably go well into March, just on debating who could be called,” Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) told reporters. “Under the agreements that we have, both sides have the right to ask for and debate witnesses one at a time. And each one of those is amendable with two hours of debate on each one.”
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