The United States Senate on Saturday voted 57 to 43 to acquit former President Donald Trump on one article of impeachment, for "inciting an insurrection." Republicans, with the exception of Sens. Bill Cassidy (LA), Susan Collins (ME), Richard Burr (NC), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Mitt Romney (UT), Ben Sasse (NE) and Pat Toomey (PA) voted to acquit the president. The Senate needed 67 votes to convict the president.
The news comes after debate over whether or not to hear witnesses in relation to the Jan. 6th riot at the United States Capitol. House impeachment manager Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD) made the case that Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) was subpoenaed over a breaking news story that came out Friday night.
Herrera Beutler said the minority leader allegedly recounted a conversation he had with President Trump. According to Herrera Beutler, McCarthy allegedly told Trump to "call off" the riots at the Capitol. The president allegedly said it wasn't his supporters who caused the chaos and violence at the Capitol.
"Needless to say, this is an additional, critical piece of corroborating evidence further confirming the charges before you, as well as the president's willful dereliction of duty," Raskin said before the vote on witnesses. "For that reason, and because this is the proper time to do so under the [Senate impeachment rules], we would like the opportunity to subpoena congresswoman Herrera [Beutler] regarding her communications with [Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy] and to subpoena her contemporaneous notes."
The Senate voted 55 to 45 to subpoena witnesses. After breaking for an hour, an agreement was struck. Impeachment managers and Trump's defense team agreed to forgo witnesses and instead submit Herrera Beutler's statement into evidence as hearsay. It was believed that the White House put in a call to forgo witnesses, although sources told various media outlets that was not the case.
A senior Biden administration official tells CNN's @JohnJHarwood, “we were not involved” in the Democratic House Impeachment Managers decision to pull the plug on witnesses.— Ana Cabrera (@AnaCabrera) February 13, 2021
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) made waves when he suddenly changed his vote to call for witnesses.
"Mr. President," Graham said to Senate President Pro Tempore Patrick Leahy. "I'd like to change my vote to 'aye.'"
BREAKING: Senate votes 55-45 to allow witnesses and more evidence for Trump impeachment case, slowing the progression of a trial that could have concluded Saturday. Five Republicans voted yes, including Lindsey Graham, who switched from an initial no vote https://t.co/3HfaYxaxQC pic.twitter.com/flGv46j7AX— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 13, 2021
Graham explained in a Twitter thread that he voted to bring in witnesses because if Democrats want to call witnesses, then he's "going to insist we have multiple witnesses."
Former senior adviser to the president, Jason Miller, said the Trump team was armed and ready with more than 300 witnesses to subpoena.
We’re currently at 301 and counting... https://t.co/3P4Bukw5Eh— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) February 13, 2021