SPONSORED:

No signs of demand for witnesses in Trump trial

No signs of demand for witnesses in Trump trial
© EPA-EFE/Pool

Senators aren't clamoring for either House managers or former President TrumpDonald TrumpUS, South Korea reach agreement on cost-sharing for troops Graham: Trump can make GOP bigger, stronger, or he 'could destroy it' Biden nominates female generals whose promotions were reportedly delayed under Trump MORE's team to request to call witnesses, as the impeachment trial appears poised to wrap in a matter of days.

Days into the proceeding, no senator has explicitly called for witnesses — a move that would drag out the trial for days if not weeks.

"I think the case has been made. I don’t know what witnesses would add," said Sen. Angus KingAngus KingProgressives' majority delusions politically costly Senate approves sweeping coronavirus measure in partisan vote The eight Democrats who voted 'no' on minimum wage MORE (I-Maine), who caucuses with Democrats.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sen. Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsSenate approves sweeping coronavirus measure in partisan vote The eight Democrats who voted 'no' on minimum wage Justice Democrats call moderates' votes against minimum wage hike 'unconscionable' MORE (D-Del.), a close ally of President BidenJoe BidenLawmakers, activists remember civil rights icons to mark 'Bloody Sunday' Fauci predicts high schoolers will receive coronavirus vaccinations this fall Biden nominates female generals whose promotions were reportedly delayed under Trump MORE's, also said he did not believe there was a need for witnesses.

"I think the case that's been laid out, unlike the impeachment a year ago when relevant events and details and personalities were unknown to us," Coons said.

Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinDemocrats near pressure point on nixing filibuster  Senate approves sweeping coronavirus measure in partisan vote Senate rejects Cruz effort to block stimulus checks for undocumented immigrants MORE (D-Ill.) said that he would leave it up to the House impeachment managers but noted that there has "been a lot of witness statements that’s been taken, put on the record."

The signs that senators aren't calling for witnesses comes as they expect the trial could wrap up as soon as Saturday.

Closing arguments are expected to end Friday. After that, the Senate has up to four hours for questions from senators, and then up to two hours to debate whether to call additional witnesses.

ADVERTISEMENT

Neither the House managers nor Trump's legal team have closed the door to calling witnesses.

"I don't know. That hasn't been decided yet, if there's a right to call witnesses or anything. They have to debate that later," David Schoen, a member of Trump's defense team, told reporters, asked if they would try to call witnesses.

Both House managers and Trump's team can ask to call witnesses, but they need a majority of the Senate to vote in support of such a request.

Several senators said they will leave the decision up to the defense team, signaling they aren't going to push for witnesses to be called. During Trump's impeachment trial last year, Democrats made several unsuccessful attempts to call witnesses. Republicans blocked those requests.

"That's really the job of the House lawyers," said Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperSenate approves sweeping coronavirus measure in partisan vote Senate holds longest vote in history as Democrats scramble to save relief bill Biden gets involved to help break Senate logjam MORE (D-Del.).

Carper said that he was "open to it," but when asked if there was someone in particular that he wanted to hear from, he added that he hadn't "given it a lot of thought."

Asked about the need for witnesses, Sen. Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichDemocrats worry Senate will be graveyard for Biden agenda Democrats offer bill on Puerto Rico statehood USPS adding up to 165K fuel efficient or electric delivery vehicles MORE (D-N.M.) said he "would leave that up to the managers."

Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerManchin firm on support for filibuster, mulls making it 'a little bit more painful' to use Biden takes victory lap after Senate passes coronavirus relief package Lawmakers demand changes after National Guard troops at Capitol sickened from tainted food MORE (D-N.Y.) said he expected a formal decision to be made after opening arguments.

"We have given the House managers a free hand and they said to us we're not sure we want [witnesses], but we want to preserve the right," Schumer told reporters during a press conference.

If the Senate doesn't call additional witnesses, the trial could quickly come to a close, with only potential deliberations and a final vote on convicting Trump left to wrap up the proceeding.

“If [Trump's team] rest tomorrow I think it will finish on Saturday unless there’s witnesses," said Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinCOVID-19 relief debate stalls in Senate amid Democratic drama Senate GOP will force clerks to read bill to delay COVID-19 relief vote OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats reintroduce road map to carbon neutrality by 2050 | Kerry presses oil companies to tackle climate change | Biden delays transfer of sacred lands for copper mine MORE (D-Md.).

Updated 4:29 p.m.