The Senate voted 55-45 on Saturday in favor of calling witnesses in former President Trump's second impeachment trial after three days of presentations from House Democrats and Trump's defense team. Five Republicans voted with Democrats to call witnesses.
The state of play: The vote opens up new possibilities for Democrats to strengthen their case, which alleges that Trump incited on insurrection on Jan 6. Witnesses were not called in Trump's first impeachment trial, but Republicans held the Senate majority at that time.
- Trump himself is among Democrats' most desired witnesses — but the former president already stated that he would not comply willingly.
- The Senate could vote to subpoena Trump but it is unclear if such a move would have enough support.
Between the lines: Some Democrats originally signaled that they would vote against witnesses. House managers throughout the week aired video and audio recordings of Trump's Jan. 6 rally and the subsequent Capitol attack, which some lawmakers said was sufficient evidence.
- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y) on Thursday told reporters that she believes that evidence suffices, stating, "We've heard from many witnesses based on their interviews and their video presentations, so, I feel like we've heard from enough witnesses."
- Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) stated, "I think the case has been made. I don’t know what witnesses would add," per USA Today.
What's next: After witnesses, managers and Trump's defense team will move into closing arguments. They will be allotted four hours, evenly divided between both sides.
- A full vote on whether to convict or acquit Trump will follow.