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Senate GOP could move to quick Trump acquittal vote

Senate Republicans are eyeing a quick acquittal of President TrumpDonald John TrumpStephen Miller: Trump to further crackdown on illegal immigration if he wins US records 97,000 new COVID-19 cases, shattering daily record Biden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll MORE that could have the trial wrap as soon as Friday. 

If GOP senators are able to defeat an effort on Friday to call new witnesses or compel new documents, Republicans are signaling they could move quickly to the final votes on acquittal. 

Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoTrump signs bipartisan bill funding conservation grants  Senate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus Hillicon Valley: Senate panel votes to subpoena Big Tech executives | Amazon says over 19,000 workers tested positive for COVID-19 | Democrats demand DHS release report warning of election interference MORE (R-Wyo.) said he expects senators will move quickly to an acquittal vote. 

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"That's the plan," the No. 3 GOP senator told reporters, asked if Republicans would move directly to acquittal if the witness vote fails. 

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP faces fundraising reckoning as Democrats rake in cash The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Election night could be a bit messy The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump, Biden blitz battleground states MORE (R-S.C.), during an interview on Fox News, said that "the president will be acquitted, and I think it will be this week."

The rules resolution passed by the Senate last week is largely silent on what happens after the witness vote. 

The only line that addresses what happens post-witness vote in the resolution reads: "At the conclusion of the deliberations by the Senate, the Senate shall vote on each article of impeachment." 

A GOP aide hedged on discussing a specific timeline, but acknowledged that members are eager to get the trial behind them. 

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Both sides could try to make motions after the failed witness vote. In former President Clinton's impeachment trial, there were two procedural votes, including a failed effort to suspend the rules, before the two votes on the articles of impeachment. Those two votes happened on Feb. 9, while Clinton's acquittal took place on Feb. 12. 

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Pollsters stir debate over Trump numbers GOP faces fundraising reckoning as Democrats rake in cash The Memo: Texas could deliver political earthquake MORE (R-Texas), an adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTop Senate GOP super PAC makes final .6M investment in Michigan Senate race On The Money: McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 | Lawmakers see better prospects for COVID deal after election Overnight Health Care: House Dem report blasts Trump coronavirus response | Regeneron halts trial of antibody drug in sickest hospitalized patients | McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 MORE (R-Ky.), noted that after the witnesses vote, 51 senators will have to vote to decide that it's time to move to the two articles of impeachment. 

"It'd be fine with me if we wrapped it on Friday," Cornyn said. 

McConnell has not yet said if he officially has the 51 votes to avoid new witnesses. Democrats would need four Republicans to vote with them to pave the way for additional witnesses. 

They would also need four GOP senators to support any vote on calling specific individuals. 

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Republicans are under pressure to call former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonTrump administration pressured federal prosecutors to settle investigation into Turkish bank: report John Bolton in heated exchange with BBC anchor over lack of impeachment testimony President Trump: To know him is to 'No' him MORE because of his claim, in his forthcoming memoir, that Trump tied Ukraine aid to the country helping to investigate Democrats including former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll Ivanka Trump raises million in a week for father's campaign On The Money: McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 | Lawmakers see better prospects for COVID deal after election MORE and his son Hunter Biden. 

But Republicans are voicing increased confidence that they will be able to avoid the witness fight. Sen. Mike RoundsMarion (Mike) Michael RoundsDuring pandemic, 'telehealth' emerging as important lifeline to connect patients with caregivers The Hill's Campaign Report: Team Trump on defense over president's comments on white supremacy Trump says Proud Boys should 'stand down' after backlash to debate comments MORE (R-S.D.) told reporters he thought they would be able to bypass the messy fight. 

"I think we'll be OK," he said. 

There are several GOP senators who remain undecided on witnesses. McConnell can lose three GOP senators and still win the witness fight, as long as Chief Justice John Roberts doesn't break a tie and side with Democrats. 

Asked on Tuesday if the trial proceedings should go past Friday, Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneOn The Money: McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 | Lawmakers see better prospects for COVID deal after election McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Pollsters stir debate over Trump numbers MORE (S.D.), another member of Senate GOP leadership, said it “shouldn’t.”

“We’re kind of confident,” Thune added.