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Impeachment schedule: when will the trial end on Saturday? Expected vote within hours?



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Sarah Tew / CNET

The second impeachment trial against Donald Trump went on Saturday to close arguments, allowing for a vote on a verdict later in the day. Earlier Saturday, the Senate agreed that 55 to 45 witnesses would be called, a move that threatened to extend the trial by days or possibly even weeks. Closing arguments can take up to four hours.

The call for witnesses came Saturday morning after a Friday night statement from Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler. The Washington State Republican had said in a phone call with minority leader Kevin McCarthy that took place Jan. 6. storming the Capitol, Trump had expressed sympathy for the crowd.

Watch How to Watch Live Coverage of the Trump Impeachment Trial Now

Despite the call for witnesses, senators decided instead to include Herrera Beutler’s statement in the record and go ahead with the closing statements. Trump is accused of “inciting insurgency” for his role in the deadly attack on the Capitol

Here’s how the trial schedule could run now. And here’s one summary of the impeachment process so far

US Capitol Building

The impeachment trial is taking place at the Capitol, the site of the deadly riot that is at the heart of Trump’s indictment.

Getty Images

When will the impeachment vote take place on Saturday?

The vote to call witnesses could have extended the schedule of the impeachment trial significantly, giving the Senate enough time to depose any agreed witness. Instead, house managers and the Trump defense team are expected to complete their presentations on Saturday, after which members of the senate are expected to vote on a verdict.

Each party has two hours to make their final statements, although both sides used less time than during earlier parts of the process. The defense only took a handful of hours to set out the case on Friday, instead of the two full days to which it was entitled.

With senators deciding not to call witnesses, the trial is on track to become the shortest impeachment trial ever for a US president. Trump’s first trial, in 2019, lasted 21 days. President Bill Clinton’s trial lasted 37 days; President Andrew Johnson’s lasted 83 days. Trump is the first US president to be impeached twice.

For more information on Trump’s impeachment, you can follow along with the trial and see the videos presented as evidence so far.

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Brett Pearce / CNET


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