Donald Trump‘s impeachment trial ended on Saturday after a chaotic turn of events forced the trial to an
abrupt halt on Saturday as Senators deliberated over allowing witness testimony.
The trial resumed again over an hour later after the senators negotiated the impeachment trial’s rules ahead
of the legal teams’ final arguments, and a vote was cast of 57 to 43, falling short of the 67 votes needed to
find Trump guilty.
Trump is the first to be impeached twice and the first to face trial after leaving office.
Earlier Saturday, Senate leaders were working on an agreement that would allow closing arguments from
both sides and a final vote on whether Trump incited the Capitol riots.
They discussed whether to allow Republican Congresswoman Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler’s testimony
as a witness, or rather, her comments instead, be put into the record.
The representative is one of 10 House Republicans to vote in favor of impeachment. She was on a call with
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy alleging Trump had incited the insurrection after his supporters
stormed the Capitol in protest of the election results.
However, just before 11 AM on Saturday, the Senate came to an abrupt halt as Senators, confused as to the rules
they themselves laid out before the trial, needed to check with legal experts as to how to carry forward.
The senators were last seen huddled on the chamber floor speaking with clerks at the dais. Rules are negotiated
at the beginning of each impeachment trial.
The rules set at the beginning of Trump’s second trial demand if senators agree to hear witnesses, it would allow
votes to hear additional testimony
Trump’s attorney Michael van der Veen said the measure to call for witness testimony was unnecessary as
he would call 100 witnesses.
Van der Veen’s request was met with laughter after he mispronounced “Philadelphia” at the beginning
“Philly.” He was not a fan. “There’s nothing laughable here,” he said.
At least 17 Republicans in the 100-seat chamber had to have joined all 50 Democrats to find the former president
guilty. Only seven did. Only six Republicans voted with Democrats to move forward with the trial, rejecting an
argument made by other Republican Senators that the Constitution does not allow Congress to impeach
a president who has already left office.