Senate faces hours of late-night votes without agreement on ending impeachment trial

Senators are bracing for a long impeachment debate and votes late Friday or early Saturday morning as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Biden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear McConnell faces conservative backlash over Trump criticism MORE (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSchumer becomes new Senate majority leader US Chamber of Commerce to Biden, Congress: Business community 'ready to help' Why pretend senators can 'do impartial justice'? MORE (D-N.Y.) don’t have an agreement on the endgame.

A Senate Republican aide said McConnell is expected to announce a second organizing resolution Friday afternoon that would set the schedule for the end of the trial and a final up-or-down vote on the two articles of impeachment.

The resolution, which could be offered as an amendment to the original organizing resolution the Senate adopted last Wednesday, is subject to amendment, which means Democrats could force multiple changes to the document, with each vote preceded by two hours of debate.


That means the Senate could battle into Saturday morning over what the trial should look like.

There’s talk of pausing the debate once the resolution is adopted and reconvening early next week to hold the final deliberations before voting on whether to convict or acquit the president.

Senate Republican Conference Chairman John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoGOP senators praise Biden's inauguration speech Biden urges Americans to join together in appeal for unity McConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time MORE (Wyo.) told reporters one idea is to recess the trial Saturday and Sunday and return Monday to deliberate with a final vote expected Wednesday.

Schumer told reporters Friday afternoon that he had not yet reached an agreement with McConnell and warned Republicans of holding a vote on the articles of impeachment in the wee hours of the night.

“There is no agreement between Leader McConnell and myself,” Schumer said.


“But we Democrats are united in saying we do not want this rushed through. Every senator has an obligation as well as a right to let the people of their states and the American people know why they’re voting on this resolution on witnesses and documents and on whether the president should be convicted,” he said.

Schumer acknowledge Democrats are in the minority but said “we do have some power” and “we will use it to prevent things from just being truncated in the dark of night.”

Schumer pointed to news reports Friday of additional damning revelations in an unpublished book manuscript written by former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonPence, other GOP officials expected to skip Trump send-off NSA places former GOP political operative in top lawyer position after Pentagon chief's reported order After insurrection: The national security implications MORE. The New York Times reported that Bolton claims Trump asked him in early May to press Volodymyr Zelensky, then the Ukrainian president-elect, to meet with Trump's personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiTrump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Sore loser politics: A Mexican lesson about Trump Pardon talk intensifies as Trump approaches final 24 hours in office MORE.

“At 11 o’clock, many of you saw me in [the Senate’s radio and television gallery] and I said sooner or later there are going to be more things that come out. Little did I know, while that was happening The New York Times was publishing another revelation from Mr. Bolton’s book that is a thunderbolt, that is devastating,” he said.

“It is inevitable more information comes out, and it will be drip, drip, drip or it may be thunderbolt, thunderbolt, thunderbolt,” he said. “And every one of our senators who votes against witnesses and documents will rue the day. They will regret it because they are covering up vital information about one of the most important things can happen.”


The New York Times reported that Bolton said he received the instructions from Trump during an Oval Office meeting attended by White House counsel Pat Cipollone, who has led the president’s impeachment defense, and acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyConsumer bureau director resigns after Biden's inauguration FDA chief says he was 'disgusted' by Capitol riots, considered resigning Biden consumer bureau pick could take over agency on Inauguration Day MORE

Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownFacebook temporarily bans ads for weapons accessories following Capitol riots Biden and the new Congress must protect Americans from utility shutoffs Streamlining the process of prior authorization for medical and surgical procedures MORE (D-Ohio) plan to introduce a motion to force deliberations on the final vote to be made open to the public.

The Senate deliberated its verdict behind closed doors in the Clinton impeachment trial.