It’s unclear what has been decided, but it should become clear soon after the Senate gavels into session at 10 a.m. ET.
Democratic senators said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer signaled to them on a call Saturday morning he doesn’t know if House Democrats will ask for witnesses.
“We were told just a few minutes ago we don’t know,” Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland told CNN.
A person familiar with Trump legal team strategy said that if Democrats do seek witnesses, Trump’s legal team will try to call House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser. Of course they would need 51 votes to subpoena witnesses, so that would not happen.
The managers have repeatedly declined to say whether they will seek witnesses, though most senators don’t expect them to do so. “No comment. No comment,” Raskin said as he left the Capitol Friday evening.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told his colleagues Saturday morning he would vote to acquit Trump, according to a source familiar with the conversations. McConnell plans to explain his decision after the final vote.
The House managers have argued throughout the trial that Trump should be convicted and barred from holding future office because he was responsible for the rioters who attacked the US Capitol on January 6 and endangered the lives of lawmakers and Pence. They’ve made the case that Trump incited the rioters through months of false claims that the election was being stolen from him, then failed to take any action to stop the violence or condemn the rioters afterward.
The defense team offered its rebuttal on Friday in a brief presentation, in which they sought to equate Trump’s rhetoric with that of Democrats, arguing that political rhetoric is protected by the First Amendment and Trump’s language did not incite a riot that was pre-planned.
This story and headline have been updated with additional developments Saturday.
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