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Final impeachment vote postponed to Wednesday amid internal  GOP spat

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump selects South Carolina lawyer for impeachment trial McConnell proposes postponing impeachment trial until February For Biden, a Senate trial could aid bipartisanship around COVID relief MORE (R-Ky.) has postponed a final vote on articles of impeachment against President TrumpDonald TrumpIran's leader vows 'revenge,' posting an image resembling Trump Former Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Justice Dept. to probe sudden departure of US attorney in Atlanta after Trump criticism MORE until Wednesday in the face of opposition from Senate GOP moderates to his plan to wrap up the trial Friday or Saturday without deliberations.

Sen. Mike BraunMichael BraunMcConnell proposes postponing impeachment trial until February The Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' Senate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official MORE (R-Ind.), emerging from a Senate GOP conference meeting, said senators now will return to the impeachment trial at 11 a.m. Monday to deliberate with a final vote on convicting or acquitting Trump set for Wednesday.

“There was some feverish discussion,” Braun said.

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Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntBipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief A Day in Photos: The Biden Inauguration GOP senator calls Biden's COVID-19 relief plan a 'non-starter' MORE (R-Mo.), a member of GOP leadership, confirmed that the trial will wrap by Wednesday. 

McConnell couldn’t afford to lose any votes because Democrats were unified in opposition to ending the trial by Saturday because Republicans have not allowed testimony from new witnesses such as 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

Democrats stayed together even though Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden's Interior Department temporarily blocks new drilling on public lands | Group of GOP senators seeks to block Biden moves on Paris, Keystone | Judge grants preliminary approval for 0M Flint water crisis settlement Senate approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee MORE (D-Mass.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersFormer Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Amanda Gorman captures national interest after inauguration performance Woman who made Sanders's mittens says she's sold out MORE (I-Vt.), and Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharA Day in Photos: The Biden Inauguration Senators vet Buttigieg to run Transportation Department Democrats shoot down McConnell's filibuster gambit MORE (D-Minn.), who are running for president, are eager to return to Iowa for the Feb. 3 caucus. 

Under the deal struck by Senate Republicans they will pass the resolution detailing how the chamber navigates its way to the final votes on acquittal on Friday night. The initial rules resolution provided few details on how the trial proceeded after the witness issue was resolved. 

The Senate will hear closing arguments from the House impeachment managers and Trump’s defense team on Monday with both sides getting two hours each, according to the resolution.  

The Senate would then adjourn the impeachment trial until 4 p.m. on Wednesday when they would move to final votes on the articles of impeachment. 

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As part of the agreement the Senate will not have closed-door deliberations, according to Blunt. Instead, senators will be able to give public speeches on the Senate floor on Monday through Wednesday to explain their positions, something members in both sides had privately requested. 

The technicality will give Chief Justice John Roberts a break from presiding over the Senate, and, unlike the impeachment trial, senators will not have to stay in their seats for hours. 

“That way senators don’t have to sit around on the floor and listen to the deliberations,” a senior Senate GOP aide said.

A Republican senator confirmed: “Just the floor is open for people to talk.” 

McConnell called Trump before introducing new organizing resolution, read through the details and Trump signed off, according to a source familiar with the call.

McConnell is expected to introduce an organizing resolution on the Senate floor after dinner Friday and Senate Democrats will offer several amendments to it. 

"We're going to move back to the floor ... We'll have the resolution and a handful of amendments," said Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisSchumer becomes new Senate majority leader Democrats see Georgia as model for success across South McConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time MORE (R-N.C.). 

Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden's Interior Department temporarily blocks new drilling on public lands | Group of GOP senators seeks to block Biden moves on Paris, Keystone | Judge grants preliminary approval for 0M Flint water crisis settlement Group of GOP senators seeks to block Biden moves on Paris, Keystone GOP senators praise Biden's inauguration speech MORE (R-Wyo.) said he expected Democrats will offer a "number" of changes to the proposed resolution outlining how the trial will finish but that Republicans will table each of the amendments. Republicans are able to effectively pigeonhole Democratic amendments with a simple majority. 

The chamber is expected to adjourn for the day at 8:30 p.m. or 9 p.m., Braun estimated.

A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerNRSC chair says he'll back GOP incumbents against Trump primary challengers Schumer becomes new Senate majority leader US Chamber of Commerce to Biden, Congress: Business community 'ready to help' MORE (D-N.Y.) said they will force votes on four amendments, and vote in lockstep against the resolution. 

“Sen. McConnell and Republicans wanted to rush through an acquittal vote tonight. But Democrats wanted votes on witnesses and documents, for the House Managers to be able to make closing arguments, ample time for every member to speak, and to prevent [the] GOP from rushing this through,” the spokesman said. 

The trial ground to a halt Friday afternoon after an internal Republican spat erupted over how to end the proceeding. The pushback from moderate Republicans derailed McConnell’s plan to acquit Trump late Friday or early Saturday after a marathon round of votes on Democratic procedural objections.

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A senior Senate Republican aide said Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsFor Biden, a Senate trial could aid bipartisanship around COVID relief Limbaugh falsely says Biden didn't win legitimately while reacting to inauguration Bipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief MORE (R-Maine) wanted there to be deliberations as there were in Clinton’s 1999 impeachment trial. 

A spokeswoman for Collins did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Democrats said the delay was caused by internal GOP divisions.

“McConnell is trying to get his coalition together,” said a senior Senate GOP aide.

A Democratic senator, who requested anonymity to comment on discussions on the floor, said, “the problem is not on our side.”

Moderate Republicans who pressed McConnell to guarantee a vote on subpoenaing witnesses and documents after phase one of the trial rose up to scotch his plans to acquit Trump without deliberations, according a GOP senator familiar with internal discussions.

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A group of moderates, including Sens. Collins, Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyFor Biden, a Senate trial could aid bipartisanship around COVID relief Bipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief GOP senator calls Biden's COVID-19 relief plan a 'non-starter' MORE (R-Utah), Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderCongress addressed surprise medical bills, but the issue is not resolved Trump renominates Judy Shelton in last-ditch bid to reshape Fed Senate swears-in six new lawmakers as 117th Congress convenes MORE (R-Tenn.) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiFor Biden, a Senate trial could aid bipartisanship around COVID relief Bipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief The Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' MORE (R-Alaska), met with McConnell on Friday afternoon to hash out strategy to end the trial.

A GOP aide said Romney did not have concerns about the timeline but acknowledged “other members have expressed concerns however.” 

A Republican senator said the opposition of only a few fellow GOP senators was enough to derail the initial plan to acquit Trump on Friday or early Saturday.

“For us to do to what we want to do, we all got to want to do it,” the lawmaker said. 

Not all of the moderates were pressing for deliberations as Alexander, who issued a statement Thursday saying Trump’s “inappropriate” action did not rise to the level of an impeachable offense, indicated he was prepared to vote immediately. 

And Blunt tried to smooth over questions of GOP tension, saying he was not “aware” of any GOP senator demanding the Wednesday date for the final votes, and instead passing blame to the Democrats.  

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Democrats “could have stretched it until then if they wanted to and so we decided to go ahead and make an agreement,” Blunt said. 

But the tensions played out on the Senate floor. McConnell and Schumer huddled together and with their top floor managers. 

McConnell was also spotted chatting with a rotating cast of Republican senators, including Sens. Alexander, John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneNRSC chair says he'll back GOP incumbents against Trump primary challengers Biden steps into debt fight on Capitol Hill McConnell faces conservative backlash over Trump criticism MORE (S.D.), John CornynJohn CornynLimbaugh falsely says Biden didn't win legitimately while reacting to inauguration Top Texas Democratic Party staffers to step down after underwhelming election results K Street navigates virtual inauguration week MORE (Texas), and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFor Biden, a Senate trial could aid bipartisanship around COVID relief Senate Democrats file ethics complaint against Hawley, Cruz over Capitol attack Poll: Majority of voters support bipartisan commission to probe potential irregularities in the 2020 election MORE (Texas). 

In response to the concerns of moderates who want to follow at least somewhat the model of the 1999 Clinton impeachment trial, which set up 25 hours of closed-door deliberations, Senate GOP leaders floated the idea of having time for deliberations starting Monday. 

Under one proposal floated Friday, senators would have gotten 10 minutes each to speak on the articles of impeachment against Trump.

That idea initially failed to gain consensus support in the Senate GOP conference as many Republican senators were expecting the original plan of wrapping up the trial late Friday or early Saturday.