Live

Watch CBSN Live

Senate votes to acquit Trump in historic second impeachment trial

get the free app
  • link copied
Senate acquits Trump in impeachment trial
Senate acquits Trump in impeachment trial 03:19

The Senate voted to acquit former President Donald Trump of inciting the January 6 riot at the Capitol in his second impeachment trial. Seven Republicans joined all Democrats in voting "guilty" for a majority of 57 votes — but Democrats failed to get the two-thirds majority needed to convict.

The Republicans who joined with the Democrats were: Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. 

Although he voted to acquit, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a blistering statement calling Mr. Trump "practically and morally responsible" for the riot, but he felt it was unconstitutional to convict a former office holder. "The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president," McConnell said.

Mr. Trump issued a statement Saturday afternoon thanking his legal team, as well as the Republicans in the Senate who found him not guilty and GOP House members who voted against the article of impeachment last month. He did not acknowledge the riot in his statement. 

"This has been yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country," Mr. Trump said. "No president has ever gone through anything like it, and it continues because our opponents cannot forget the almost 75 million people, the highest number ever for a sitting president, who voted for us just a few short months ago."

While the outcome had long seemed inevitable, the trial was briefly thrown into chaos on Saturday morning when the Senate voted to allow witnesses after a late-night statement from a congresswoman about a conversation with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy regarding his phone call with Mr. Trump during the riot. According to the congresswoman, Jaime Herrera Beutler, McCarthy told her "the president initially repeated the falsehood that it was antifa that had breached the Capitol."  

Second Impeachment Trial Of Donald J. Trump Continues In Senate
 In this screenshot taken from a congress.gov webcast, Bruce Castor Jr., defense lawyer for former President Donald Trump, speaks on the fifth day of former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial at the U.S. Capitol on February 13, 2021 in Washington, DC. / Getty Images
 

Biden: "Tonight, I am thinking about those who bravely stood guard that January day"

In a statement reflecting on the acquittal of former President Trump, President Biden said that he is, "thinking about those who bravely stood guard that January day" and "those who lost their lives, all those whose lives were threatened, and all those who are still today living with terror they lived through that day."

"While the final vote did not lead to a conviction, the substance of the charge is not in dispute," Mr. Biden said. "Even those opposed to the conviction, like Senate Minority Leader McConnell, believe Donald Trump was guilty of a 'disgraceful dereliction of duty' and 'practically and morally responsible for provoking' the violence unleashed on the Capitol."

By Jordan Freiman
 

Louisiana GOP votes to censure Cassidy

Hours after Republican Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana voted to convict former President Trump, the Louisiana Republican party executive committee unanimously voted to censure him. 

"The Constitution and our country is more important than any one person," Cassidy said in a brief video statement after the vote. "I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty."

Cassidy is far from being anti-Trump, in fact, he voted with the president 89% of the time, according to the Louisiana Advocate

Other Republicans who broke with the party in both the House and Senate have faced blowback from their state Republican parties. Congresswoman Liz Cheney, the third-highest ranking Republican in the House, was censured by the Wyoming GOP, and Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska also faces a censure vote. 

By Caroline Linton
 

Trump attorney rips off mic after questioning from CBSN anchor

Trump attorney discusses acquittal 10:42
 

Senate adjourns

The Senate adjourned for the day at 5:30 p.m. and will reconvene on February 22. The Senate will be in recess for President's Day week. 

The Senate will take a procedural vote to limit debate on the nomination of Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be U.N. ambassador at 5:30 pm on Monday, February 22. Their next full vote is scheduled for the following day, when they will vote on whether to confirm Agriculture secretary nominee Tom Vilsack.

There will also be pro forma sessions held Tuesday, February 16, and Friday, February 19. 

By Caroline Linton
 

House impeachment managers say McConnell "agreed with our case on the facts"

House impeachment managers addressed the press after Mr. Trump was acquitted, arguing that the trial had been successful in that it was bipartisan. He also noted that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a floor speech that Mr. Trump had been "responsible" for the events of January 6, and indicated that he could still face criminal or civil charges.

"This was the most bipartisan presidential impeachment event in the history of the country," lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin said. He added that McConnell "agreed with our case on the facts."

Raskin also defended the agreement by impeachment managers and Mr. Trump's counsel not to call any witnesses, after the Senate voted in favor of calling witnesses this morning.

"No number of witnesses would convince them" to convict Mr. Trump, Raskin said of most Republicans.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi unexpectedly walked into the room and briefly spoke to reporters as well.

"We could not be prouder of your patriotic presentations, the clarity with which you presented, and the inspiration you have been to so many people," Pelosi said. She also slammed McConnell for voting "not guilty" but then excoriating the president, saying that he "created the situation" by refusing to call an emergency session of the senate while Mr. Trump was still in office.

Pelosi also said that she would not accept a censure resolution, arguing that it was a "slap in the face of the Constitution" and "lets everyone off the hook."

By Grace Segers
 

McConnell excoriates Trump while still arguing that impeachment was unconstitutional

McConnell denounces Trump after acquittal 20:31

In a speech whose first half was reminiscent of the arguments made by House impeachment managers, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell excoriated Mr. Trump and said he was "practically and morally responsible" for the attack on the Capitol on January 6. However, McConnell argued that he believed it was unconstitutional to convict a president who was no longer in office.

"President Trump is practically and morally responsible for the moments provoked that day," McConnell said, blaming Mr. Trump for the "mob assaulting the Capitol in his name." "These criminals were carrying his banners. Hanging his flags. And screaming their loyalty to him."

He said the Capitol assault "was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories and reckless hyperbole which the defeated president kept shouting into the largest megaphone on planet earth." 

But McConnell argued that the former president "is constitutionally not eligible for conviction" — even though the Senate voted 56-44 earlier this week that it was constitutionally possible to convict a former official.

"I believe the Senate was right not to grab power the Constitution doesn't give us," McConnell said.

McConnell had furthermore prevented the Senate from holding the impeachment trial before Mr. Trump left office. He refused to agree to an emergency session of the Senate to conduct the trial, arguing there was not enough time to conduct it fairly before President Biden took office. Mr. Biden was inaugurated seven days after the House voted to impeach Mr. Trump.

The trial, which began on February 9, lasted only five days.

By Grace Segers
 

Schumer says there was "only one correct verdict in this trial: guilty"

Schumer: Trump's acquittal "a vote of infamy"... 12:45

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer took to the Senate floor following the vote to acquit Mr. Trump, contrasting the 45th president with the first person to hold the office, George Washington, and urging the American people to deliver justice, which he said the Senate failed to do.

"This trial was about the final acts of a president who represents the very antithesis of our first president and sought to place one man before the entire country, himself," he said. "Let the record show, let the record show before God, history and the solemn oath we swear to the Constitution that there was only one correct verdict in this trial: guilty."

Schumer said he prays that while justice was not done in the trial involving Mr. Trump, " it will be carried forward by the American people who above any of us in this chamber determine the destiny of our great nation."

By Melissa Quinn
 

Most Republicans who voted to convict aren't up for reelection until at least 2024, or aren't running for reelection

Most of the Republicans who voted to convict Mr. Trump are not up for reelection until at least 2024, or are not running for reelection. 

Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is the only Republican who voted to convict Mr. Trump who is also up for reelection in 2022. 

Senator Richard Burr isn't running for reelection. Senator Bill Cassidy isn't up for reelection until 2026. Susan Collins is up for reelection in 2026. Mitt Romney isn't up for reelection until 2024. Ben Sasse isn't up for reelection until 2026. Senator Pat Toomey isn't running for reelection. 

By Kathryn Watson
 

Trump after acquittal: "Movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun"

After Mr. Trump was acquitted on the impeachment charge, he issued a statement thanking his legal team, as well as the Republicans in the Senate who found him not guilty and GOP House members who voted against the article of impeachment last month.

"It is a sad commentary on our times that one political party in America is given a free pass to denigrate the rule of law, defame law enforcement, cheer mobs, excuse rioters, and transform justice into a tool of political vengeance, and persecute, blacklist, cancel and suppress all people and viewpoints with whom or which they disagree," he said. 

The former president claimed the impeachment proceedings mounted by Democrats was "yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country."

Mr. Trump also teased future plans, saying "soon we will emerge with a vision for a bright, radiant, and limitless American future."

"Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun," he said. "In the months ahead I have much to share with you, and I look forward to continuing our incredible journey together to achieve American greatness for all of our people."

A vote by the Senate finding the former president guilty would have paved the way for the chamber to disqualify Mr. Trump from holding office again. The option for Mr. Trump to seek the presidency in 2024 now remains, though the former president has not yet said whether he will run again.

By Melissa Quinn
 

Burr explains surprise "guilty" vote

Senator Richard Burr voted to convict Mr. Trump on the article of impeachment, a surprise vote from the Republican from North Carolina. Burr, who is retiring in 2022, said in a statement that "the facts are clear" that the former president incited the riot on January 6.

"I do not make this decision lightly, but I believe it is necessary. By what he did and what he did not do, President Trump violated his oath of office to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States," Burr said. "My hope is that with today's vote, America can begin to move forward and focus on the critical issues facing our country today."

Senators Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, and Patrick Toomey also voted to convict.

By Grace Segers
 

Senate acquits Trump on charge of incitement of insurrection

Exactly one month after the House voted to impeach Mr. Trump for incitement of insurrection, the Senate voted 57-43 to acquit the former president on the single impeachment charge.

Seven Republicans — Senators Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania — joined with Democrats in finding the former president guilty. Sixty-seven votes were needed to convict Mr. Trump.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called for the vote around 3:33 p.m., after Raskin delivered his rebuttal. 

"The Senate is now ready to vote on the article of impeachment," he said, after which the clerk read the full article approved by the House last month.

Senators then began voting, and the vote was called after roughly 10 minutes.

"Two-thirds of the senators present not having voted guilty, the Senate adjudges that the respondent, Donald John Trump, former president of the United States, is not guilty as charged on the article of impeachment," Leahy declared.

Although the vote from seven Republican senators fell short of what was needed for conviction, the vote marked a bipartisan show against Mr. Trump. In Mr. Trump's first impeachment, only Romney voted to convict him on one of the two articles approved by the House. 

—  Melissa Quinn and Kathryn Watson  

 

Raskin makes concluding remarks

Raskin took a few minutes to respond to van der Veen's final arguments, saying that he would show restraint and "resist the opportunity to rebut every single false and illogical thing you just heard."

Raskin noted that Castor said yesterday that the attack on the Capitol was not "insurrection," but van der Veen said today that "everyone agrees" that there was an insurrection. He also pushed back against the argument that impeachment was "constitutional cancel culture," pointing out that Mr. Trump would not face any criminal consequences.

"When has his speech ever been stifled? he says exactly what he wants whenever he wants. Even when you convict him for incitement of insurrection, he will continue to say whatever he wants," Raskin said, adding that impeachment is a "simple remedy to protect all of us."

Raskin said that Mr. Trump had tried to overturn the election, which he lost by 7 million votes.

"The first amendment is on our side. He tried to overturn the will of the people, the voice of the people," Raskin said. "He must pay the price."

By Grace Segers
 

Trump's attorneys close out their case

As he started out his closing statement, Trump attorney Michael van der Veen said the former president's team does not stipulate the truthfulness of the statement from Jaime Herrea Beutler. 

Van der Veen then resorted to attacking the House impeachment managers, falsely claiming they never mentioned the Constitution and distorted evidence. 

Van der Veen insisted that no one could have interpreted Mr. Trump's January 6 speech as anything other than peaceful. He also suggested that some of the people who attacked the Capitol were already at the Capitol when Mr. Trump was speaking. 

He claimed the protesters "hijacked" the event for their own purposes, even though those who stormed the Capitol have identified themselves as Trump supporters. 

Van der Veen said the entire impeachment has been a "charade" from beginning to end.

"You do not have to indulge the impeachment lust, the dishonesty and the hypocrisy," van der Veen said. 

By Kathryn Watson
 

Raskin ends Democrats' closing arguments: "Godspeed to the Senate of the United States"

House impeachment manager Jamie Raskin concluded with a personal anecdote, recalling a conversation he had with his daughter, Hannah, who sympathized with the children of the rioters who mounted the assault on the Capitol and also may not have returned home to their families. His daughter, Raskin said, cut through the politics and legality of the situation, and saw "all the way to the humanity of the situation, the morality of the situation."

"We must recognize and exercise these crimes against our nation and then we must take care of our people and our children, their hearts and their minds," he said.

Raskin implored senators to vote according to the truth and questioned whether members would do more to defend the law enforcement officers who protected them January 6 and endured violence and racist slurs, beyond giving them medals.

"Is this America? Is this what we want to bequeath to our children and our grandchildren?" he said.

Raskin said that regardless of whether senators came to Washington to work on defense or agriculture, for example, their vote on impeachment is how they will be remembered.

"That might not be fair, it really might not be fair, but none of us can escape the demands of history and destiny right now," he said.

Raskin concluded the Democrats' closing arguments by citing Thomas Paine, for whom his late son, Thomas Raskin, was named after. 

"The times have found us. Is this America, what kind of America will we be? It's now literally in your hands. Godspeed to the Senate of the United States," he said.

By Melissa Quinn
 

Neguse refutes Trump attorneys' key arguments

Impeachment manager Joe Neguse said he won't repeat the evidence, but he did work to refute some of Mr. Trump's attorneys' key arguments. 

"The evidence that all of us presented, the Manager Dean just summarized, is pretty devastating. And so rather than address it, the president has offered up distractions. Excuses. Anything but actually trying to defend against the facts," Neguse said. 

Every president is one day a private citizen again, Neguse said. So impeachment would be meaningless if the criminal justice system could always take care of an errant past president. 

"It would be unwise to suggest that going forward the only appropriate response to constitutional offenses committed by a president are criminal charges," Neguse said. 

Neguse said they haven't presented the criminal statutes because it's not a criminal case — it's a constitutional one. The relevant question, Neguse said, is whether the framers would have considered the president inciting a violent mob to attack the government and stop the certification of the vote.

The president's attorneys, Neguse said, also claim Mr. Trump wasn't given due process. But he was given lawyers, the chance to testify, the chance to offer exculp

"You can't claim there's no due process when you won't participate in the process," Neguse said. 

All of the arguments offered by the president's team have one thing in common: They have nothing to do with whether or not Mr. Trump incited the attack, Neguse said. 

Other nations look to America because the U.S. has been a "guiding star," Neguse said,  because American senators in the past rose to the occasion. 

"This floor is sacred. It's one of the reasons why I, like so many of you, was offended to see it desecrated by that mob," Neguse said. 

For some, there will be no recovery from the pain of January 6, Neguse said. Families who continue to mourn who they lost and officers who suffer psychological trauma will continue to deal with the fallout. 

"Senators, this can't be the beginning, can't be the new normal," he said. "The result is in your hands."

By Kathryn Watson
 

Dean makes appeal to senators: "I ask that you not look the other way"

Congresswoman Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania laid out the managers' case for how Mr. Trump incited the violence at the Capitol with remarks he made in the months, days and hours before the insurrection.

"Donald Trump invited them. He incited them. Then he directed them," Dean said. 

She then played a montage of clips featuring the president speaking at rallies and on television, arguing his rhetoric led to the attack.

"The violence on January the 6th was demonstrably foreseeable," Dean said.

The managers' arguments were interrupted on two occasions when objections were raised about content included in the presentations by Dean and Cicilline before her. Leahy, who is presiding over the trial, said new evidence is not allowed during closing arguments.

"Donald Trump was acting as our commander in chief. He was our president. He used his office and the authority it commands to incite an attack. And when Congress and the Constitution were under attack, he abandoned his duties, violated his oath, failing to preserve, protect and defend," Dean said.

Drawing on her own experience January 6, Dean conceded she was unaware of the extent of Mr. Trump's involvement and just how close the rioters came to lawmakers. 

"We know what Donald Trump did. We know what he failed to do," she said. "Though it is difficult to bear witness and face the reality of what happened in these halls, what happens if we don't confront these facts? What happens if there is no accountability?"

"We are in a dialogue with history," Dean concluded. "I ask that you not look the other way."

By Melissa Quinn
 

House managers begin their closing arguments

Before moving to his closing arguments, Raskin underscored the importance of Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler's statement and argued the former president's conduct while the violence at the Capitol was ongoing is relevant to the charge he incited an insurrection.

"After he knew that violence was underway at the Capitol, President Trump took actions that further incited the insurgents to be more inflamed and to take even more extreme, selective and focused action against Vice President Mike Pence," Raskin said.

That conduct, he said, is "obviously part and parcel" of the constitutional offense Mr. Trump was impeached by the House for, incitement of insurrection.

Raskin shot down the defense's claim that Mr. Trump's actions before and after the riot are irrelevant. 

"Of course your conduct while a crime is ongoing is relevant to your culpability, both to the continuation of the offense but also directly relevant, directly illuminating to what your purpose was originally, what was your intent," he said.

Turning to his closing arguments, Raskin then offered a spirited defense of Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who was one of 10 GOP lawmakers who voted to impeach Mr. Trump and whose post as the House's No. 3 Republican was threatened because of her support for impeachment.

"Who says you can't stand up against bullies?" he said after citing Cheney's statement on her impeachment vote, where she said "much more will become clear in the coming days and weeks, but what we know now is enough."

Raskin laid out Mr. Trump's efforts to reverse the outcome of the presidential election, from the pressure he put on state election officials like Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to his tweets encouraging his supporters to rally in Washington on January 6 in his defense.

"Think, imagine, is there another president in our history who would urge supporters to come to Washington for a wild time?" Raskin said.

Speaking to senators who may be "flirting with the idea" the former president's conduct before the assault was appropriate, Raskin raised the "key question" to resolve those doubts.

"How did Donald Trump react when he learned of the violent storming of the Capitol and the threats to senators, members of the House and his own vice president, as well as the images he saw on TV of the pummeling and beating and harassment of our police officers?" he said.

Raskin said Mr. Trump's actions January 6 make clear he supported the actions of the rioters.

"Through his acts of omission and commision that day, he abused his office by siding with the insurrectionists at almost every point, rather than with the Congress of the United States, rather than with the Constitution," he said.

Raskin implored the Senate to find Mr. Trump guilty of incitement of insurrection, citing the violence perpetrated by the mob, the lives lost and the injuries suffered.

"He further incited them while failing to defend us," he said. "If that's not grounds for conviction, if that's not a high crime and misdemeanor against the republic of the United States of America, then nothing is. President Trump must be convicted for the safety and security of our democracy and our people."

Congressman David Cicilline of Rhode Island, following Raskin, then rebutted claims from Mr. Trump's lawyers that they did not know of the evidence put forth by the managers earlier in the trial, noting the Senate resolution entitled them to have access to the material. He also noted the legal team never refuted the accuracy of Mr. Trump's tweets, which were publicly available.

Cicilline said he would "insist" on telling his story if he stood charged with incitement to insurrection. While Democrats asked Mr. Trump to voluntarily testify before the trial's start, the former president's lawyers swiftly rejected their request.

Cicilline laid out the timeline of what Mr. Trump knew and when he knew it. He dismissed the defense's claim that Mr. Trump didn't know Pence was in danger, noting the former president "did nothing" to help his vice president.

The president, he said, was essentially conveying "you got what you deserve."

"His singular focus: stopping the certification of the election of his opponent," Cicilline said. "He incited the violence to stop the certification, he attacked the vice president and further incited the insurrection to pressure the vice president to stop the certification, he called Senator Tuberville to stop the certification, and he refused to send help to Congress, and this Congress and the vice president of the United States were in mortal danger because he wanted to stop the certification."

Mr. Trump's "sole focus was stealing the election for himself," he said.

"President Trump willfully betrayed us," Cicilline said. He added that all those in the Capitol were left  "to our own devices against an attack he incited and he alone could stop."

By Melissa Quinn
 

Senate agrees to add a news article to the record, will not hear from witnesses

After two hours of chaos when the Senate unexpectedly voted to call witnesses in the impeachment trial, Trump attorney Bruce Castor announced that impeachment managers had agreed to a deal to include a statement in the record instead of deposing any witnesses. Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler said in a statement on Friday that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had relayed a conversation he had with Mr. Trump on January 6 with her, where Mr. Trump said that the rioters who stormed the Capitol "are more upset about the election than you are."

Castor said that if Herrera Beutler were to testify under oath, her testimony would be consistent with the statement she issued on Friday. Impeachment manager Jamie Raskin read Herrera Beutler's statement, and asked that it be included in the record.

"Senators, Donald John Trump by his counsel is prepared to stipulate that if Herrera Beutler were to testify under oath as part of these proceedings, her testimony would be consistent with the statement she issued on February 12, 2021 and the former president's counsel is agreeable to the admission of that public statement into evidence at this time," Castor said.

In entering the statement into the record, no witnesses will be called and there are no additional motions to be considered. The proceedings are now moving to closing arguments, for which each side has up to two hours.

Although all Democrats and four Republicans voted to hear from witnesses, it would have delayed the proceedings by an unspecified period of time, putting legislative issues like coronavirus relief on the back burner. Republicans also would have forced votes for several witnesses that Democrats would not want to call, such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Although a majority vote is required to subpoena witnesses, meaning that these efforts would fail, it would still have taken a significant period of time to consider and vote on these subpoenas.

Grace Segers and Melissa Quinn  

 

Senate reconvenes

The Senate reconvened at 12:49 p.m. after taking a recess to further discuss how to proceed after members voted to consider witnesses in the trial.

By Melissa Quinn
 

Republicans infuriated by vote to call witnesses in impeachment trial

The Senate voted to allow for calling witnesses in the impeachment trial on Saturday, delaying the proceedings that were expected to conclude this afternoon by an unspecified period of time. Many Republicans lashed out in response to the vote, arguing that Democrats had made a mistake by extending the trial, even though five GOP senators joined all Democrats in voting to call witnesses.

Senator Ron Johnson appeared to be upset with Senator Mitt Romney, who voted to call witnesses, in the Senate chamber immediately after the vote. Johnson later told reporters that he was not angry with Romney, but with the vote itself.

Senator Kevin Cramer argued that the House impeachment managers had "unleashed a really, really, really awful situation" by calling for witnesses. He said that Republicans had been "gracious" to Democrats, but would work to block any legislation brought by Democrats if the trial was significantly delayed.

"I'd say that is over, from now on until such time as this is over. And if they want to make this into a 10 month ordeal or a two year ordeal, it'll be without a single piece of legislation getting passed," Cramer said.

Senator Joni Ernst said calling witnesses was a "tool of revenge."

"If they want to drag this out, we'll drag it out," she said.

By Grace Segers
 

Schiff says he hopes vote to consider witnesses will inspire Republicans to come forward

Congressman Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California who was the lead impeachment manager during the first impeachment proceedings involving Mr. Trump, said he hopes more Republicans who have information about the former president's conduct on January 6 come forward and make themselves available to testify.

In an interview with CBS News, Schiff recalled a similar occurrence in last year's proceeding, where a witness came forward after watching the hearings in the House to provide relevant information.

"That could very well happen here," he said.

The California Democrat said calling new witnesses "opens the door for discovery of new information." 

Schiff also said Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, who the House managers said they want to subpoena, would be a "low-risk" witness for the Democrats, but warned House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy could present more challenges.

Schiff cited McCarthy's recent trip to Florida, during which he met with Mr. Trump at Mar-a-Lago and discussed Republicans regaining the House majority in 2022, and said McCarthy made it clear the GOP is relying on the president to help deliver them victories in the next election.

"Is that the kind of witness with those kinds of incentives that you want to rely on to be candid?" he said. "And I don't think that McCarthy has a reputation for candor, so that's very risky. Whether he will dispute the account of Congresswoman Beutler or add other things to the conversation, you just don't know."

Schiff predicted Mr. Trump's lawyers may try to "make some political hay for the Hannitys and the Carlsons by having a vote on whether to hear the testimony of the speaker," referencing Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson.

By Melissa Quinn
 

Senate takes brief recess

The Senate has recessed until 12:30 p.m.

By Melissa Quinn
 

Trump's lawyer suggests Pelosi, Harris be deposed in Philadelphia

Michael van der Veen elicited laughter from senators when he suggested that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris should be among those deposed as part of the impeachment trial, and they should have to appear in-person at his office in Philadelphia.

"None of these depositions should be done by Zoom," he said. "We didn't do this hearing by Zoom."

As laughter rang out in the chamber in response to his suggestion Pelosi and Harris have their depositions taken in Pennsylvania, van der Veen grew more incredulous.

 "I don't know how many civil lawyers are here, but that's the way it works, folks. When you want somebody's deposition you send a notice of deposition and they appear at the place where the notice says. That's civil process," he said. "I don't know why you're laughing."

By Melissa Quinn
 

Senate votes to call witnesses

The Senate voted to call witnesses in the trial by a vote of 55 to 45. Republican Senators LIndsey Graham, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse voted to hear from witnesses. This means that the final vote will not be today, but will take place after witnesses are heard.

At the last minute, Graham changed his vote from a "nay" to "aye," because he wants the defense to be able to call witnesses. 

Kathryn Watson and Grace Segers

 

Raskin says they want to subpoena congresswoman who recalled McCarthy call with Trump

Lead House impeachment manager Jamie Raskin said he wants the Senate to subpoena Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, who confirmed in a statement Friday night that McCarthy urged the president to call off the riot on January 6, Mr. Trump balked and backed the rioters. 

"Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are," he said, according to the congresswoman's account of what the minority leader told her. 

In her statement, Herrera Beutler also urged others who know more to come forward. 

Raskin said he wants the Senate to subpoena the congresswoman and her contemporaneous notes.

"We believe we've proven our case," Raskin said, before adding that he would like to hear from Herrera Beutler.

Grace Segers and Kathryn Watson  

 

Senate trial reconvenes

The Senate impeachment trial reconvened at 10 a.m. for what could be the final day of deliberations, with a vote on whether to convict or acquit Mr. Trump possibly happening this afternoon. The Senate may also deliberate and vote on whether to call witnesses beforehand.

House impeachment managers and Mr. Trump's lawyers will have up to four hours evenly divided to make closing arguments. The former president's lawyers aren't expected to use their full time.

By Grace Segers
 

McConnell says he'll vote to acquit Trump

 In an email to his Senate Republican colleagues, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he'll vote to acquit Mr. Trump, according to a Senate staffer who was read the email by a GOP senator.

McConnell cited constitutional grounds for his reasoning. McConnell voted that the trial was unconstitutional before it began. 

Politico first reported McConnell's anticipated vote.

By Kris Van Cleave
 

Two Democratic senators call for deposing Tuberville and McCarthy

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse called for suspending the impeachment trial to depose Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. The Democrat from Rhode Island tweeted his suggestion on Friday night, as Tuberville and McCarthy had conversations with Mr. Trump on January 6.

Republican Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler confirmed in a statement on Saturday that McCarthy had told her about a conversation he had with Mr. Trump on January 6, when the former president told McCarthy that the rioters who had stormed the Capitol "are more upset about the election than you are."

Tuberville spoke with Mr. Trump shortly after 2 p.m. on January 6, after Vice President Mike Pence had been evacuated from the chamber. It is unclear whether Tuberville spoke with Mr. Trump before the president sent a disparaging tweet about Mr. Pence at 2:24 p.m. Senator Mike Lee, who fielded the call, later claimed on Friday evening that the call between Tuberville and Mr. Trump happened at 2:30 p.m. However, Lee did not provide evidence of that timeline.

Whitehouse said in a tweet on Friday evening that the way to clear up confusion would be "to depose McCarthy and Tuberville under oath and get facts," and ask the Secret Service to produce communications to the White House about Pence's safety during the siege.

"What did Trump know, and when did he know it?" Whitehouse asked. Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley agreed with Whitehouse in a tweet Saturday morning, saying that Whitehouse "nailed it."

Democratic Senator Ed Markey expressed his agreement in a tweet on Saturday.

"The House Managers should ask for witnesses to be called, including anyone who communicated with Donald Trump or have direct knowledge of his actions and state of mind while he was in the White House after the Capitol was breached and while the attempted coup was ongoing," Markey said.

The Senate will vote on whether to call witnesses on Saturday.

By Grace Segers
 

Trump attorney quit on Thursday night, rejoined after Trump called him

President Trump's attorney David Schoen quit on Thursday night over a dispute in strategy about how to use the videos that aired during the defense team's arguments on Friday, a source close to Mr. Trump's legal team said. He rejoined the legal team after Mr. Trump called and asked him to, the source said. 

The news was first reported by The New York Times.

Schoen participated in the defense's arguments Friday afternoon, but will not be present at the trial on Saturday because he observes the Jewish Sabbath.

By Rebecca Kaplan
 

Congresswoman backs claim that Trump told McCarthy "well I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are"

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler issued a statement late Friday backing reports that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had reached President Trump by phone on January 6.

According to Herrera Beutler, McCarthy told her that when he spoke to Mr. Trump that day and asked him to "publicly and forcefully" call off the Capitol assault, "the president initially repeated the falsehood that it was antifa that had breached the Capitol."

"McCarthy refuted that and told the president that these were Trump supporters," Beutler's statement said. "That's when, according to McCarthy, the president said: 'Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.'" 

Herrera Beutler, a Republican from Washington, was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Mr. Trump. She referenced the call in her statement of support of impeachment.

By Caroline Linton
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.