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3 Takeaways from Today’s Trump Impeachment Trial

Westlake Legal Group 31dc-takeaways-facebookJumbo 3 Takeaways from Today's Trump Impeachment Trial Zelensky, Volodymyr Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Rubio, Marco Republican Party Putin, Vladimir V Presidential Election of 2020 Portman, Rob Murkowski, Lisa Kelly, John F (1950- ) impeachment House of Representatives Giuliani, Rudolph W Democratic Party Cipollone, Pat A Bolton, John R

WASHINGTON — After 10 days of arguments and deliberations, the Senate voted against hearing from new witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial, signaling a vote to acquit him would likely come in the coming days.

House impeachment managers and President Trump’s defense team made their final arguments for and against hearing from new witnesses as the Senate trial entered its final stages on Friday before the evening vote. Not long before the session started, Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, announced that she would vote against a measure to hear new witnesses erasing any doubt that the Republicans would have the support to end the trial without considering new material.

Here are five key takeaways from the afternoon.

In a nearly party-line vote, the Senate decided not to hear testimony from witnesses or review evidence before it moves to vote on whether Mr. Trump should be removed from office.

The 51-49 outcome was not surprising and paved the way for the Senate to acquit Mr. Trump. Senate leaders are negotiating over the next steps to end the trial.

Many of the arguments from the House managers over the past two weeks have been centered on the importance of hearing from witnesses, like Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, John R. Bolton, who has firsthand accounts of Mr. Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine.

Two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah, voted in favor of hearing witnesses, as they had signaled ahead of the trial.

Democrats have said that a trial without witnesses and documents is not a fair one. Republicans said that they did not need to hear any additional information and that the Democrats brought a weak case.

The top Democrat in the Senate, Chuck Schumer of New York, said the trial was a sham and a tragedy.

“To not allow a witness, a document — no witnesses, no documents — in an impeachment trial is a perfidy,” Mr. Schumer said after the vote. “America will remember this day, unfortunately, where the Senate did not live up to its responsibilities.”

In the hours before the vote, House impeachment managers made their final plea, citing a New York Times report that published about an hour before the trial started.

The report, which draws from new details from an upcoming book by Mr. Bolton, shows that Mr. Trump had a direct role in the Ukraine pressure campaign earlier than previously known, and senior White House advisers were aware of it.

“Yet another reason why we want to hear from witnesses,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the lead manager.

In the book, Mr. Bolton describes a meeting in early May at which Mr. Trump instructed him to call President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to press him to meet with Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani. According to the book, one of Mr. Trump’s defense lawyers for the impeachment trial, Pat Cipollone, was also in the meeting, which took place months before Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky spoke by phone on July 25. That conversation ultimately set the impeachment proceedings in motion.

The fight over witnesses had largely been an argument about hearing testimony from Mr. Bolton, particularly as details about what he knows of Mr. Trump’s motives and his efforts to pressure Ukraine emerged in the past week.

Mr. Trump blocked Mr. Bolton from testifying in the House impeachment inquiry, but Mr. Bolton has said he would comply with a subpoena to testify during the Senate trial.

Even before the Senate trial resumed on Friday, some Republican senators announced their plans to vote to acquit Mr. Trump, and there was noticeably less note-taking in the Senate chamber compared with previous days of the trial.

“Can anyone doubt that at least half of the country would view his removal as illegitimate — as nothing short of a coup d’état?” Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, wrote in a statement on Friday.

His decision, he said, was made out of concern of further dividing the country.

Mr. Rubio added that if the president was removed from office, it would be a victory for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

“It is difficult to conceive of any scheme Putin could undertake that would undermine confidence in our democracy more than removal would,” he wrote.

Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, said that he did find some of Mr. Trump’s actions “wrong and inappropriate,” but he wanted to leave it to voters decide on a verdict in November.

“Our country is already too deeply divided and we should be working to heal wounds, not create new ones,” Mr. Portman said in a statement.

“It seems it was half a trial,” said John F. Kelly, Mr. Trump’s former chief of staff, hours before the Senate officially voted.

“If I was advising the United States Senate, I would say, ‘If you don’t respond to 75 percent of the American voters and have witnesses, it’s a job only half-done,’” Mr. Kelly said, ahead of delivering a speech in New Jersey on Friday. “You open yourself up forever as a Senate that shirks its responsibilities.”

Mr. Kelly appeared to be referring to a recent national poll from Quinnipiac University, which found that 75 percent of independents think witnesses should testify. The independent vote is expected to be a critical one in November.

A retired four-star Marine general, Mr. Kelly was well-liked in the Senate — he was confirmed with bipartisan support to be Mr. Trump’s first homeland security secretary — which made his criticism on Friday even more pointed. He was later drafted to be the president’s chief of staff with the hope he would bring order to a White House defined by chaos.

Earlier this week, Mr. Kelly said he believed Mr. Bolton’s account of the president’s dealings with Ukraine, which the president has denied.

“If John Bolton says that in the book, I believe John Bolton,” he said on Tuesday.

Mr. Kelly and Mr. Bolton overlapped at the White House for much of 2018 but were not always in lock step. On Friday, Mr. Kelly described Mr. Bolton as “an honest and an honorable guy,” and “a copious note-taker.”

Senators will vote at 4 p.m. on Wednesday to render a verdict in President Trump’s impeachment trial. But before then, they will vote on procedural motions on Friday and return at 11 a.m. on Monday to give closing arguments, senators said. They will also have a chance to give floor speeches on Tuesday before the Wednesday vote.

“I’d rather conclude it right away,” said Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri. But the rules allowed for more time, and Democrats insisted, he added.

“It gives everybody the flexibility if they need to go somewhere over the weekend,” said Senator Mike Braun, Republican of Indiana.

The schedule means Mr. Trump would deliver the State of the Union address Tuesday night with his all but certain acquittal pending.

For the four senators running for the Democratic nomination to face Mr. Trump in November, it will be a busy few days as they rush to Iowa ahead of the caucuses there on Monday before needing to return to Washington for the closing phase of the trial.

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AOC breaks her fundraising record in crusade to take on DCCC

Westlake Legal Group AOC-1 AOC breaks her fundraising record in crusade to take on DCCC Marisa Schultz fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc article a2166541-ad9b-5027-b8b9-9bc7cefc199f

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raised more than $1 million in January for her re-election campaign, making it her best fundraising month ever, according to her campaign.

The progressive firebrand crushed her monthly goal after Fox News reported Jan. 10 Ocasio-Cortez refused to pay her $250,000 in “dues” to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, upsetting her liberal colleagues who bashed her for trying to undermine their party.

AOC RILES DEMS BY REFUSING TO PAY PARTY DUES, BANKROLLING COLLEAGUES’ OPPONENTS

Ocasio-Cortez successfully fundraised off her renegade stance against the establishment and even launched a new leadership PAC to build up her arsenal to take on the DCCC.

“We set a $1,000,000 goal at the beginning of the month, and our incredible supporters absolutely crushed it — a full 24 hours before the deadline,” Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign said in an email to supporters. “Our team is floored. The energy of this movement is at an all-time high, and that foreshadows a lot of great things for our future.”

The New York Democrat also posted impressive 2019 numbers on Friday. Ocasio-Cortez ended the year raising $5.5 million, including $1.98 million just in the final quarter of the year. She ends the year with $2.9 million in the cash on hand, new campaign finance records posted with the Federal Election Commission show.

Her fundraising haul rivals the top House Democrat, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who posted $5.9 million in total receipts for the year and $2 million for the final quarter, records show.

Pelosi had less money in the bank at the end of the year at $2.6 million. AOC, as she’s known, would have surpassed Pelosi in total 2019 fundraising if the speaker hadn’t transferred $1.4 million into her account from the “Nancy Pelosi Victory Fund,” a joint fundraising account with her leadership PAC and the DCCC.

Those transfer donations include checks from high-dollar backers like George Soros, Alexander Soros, Pat Stryker, Steven Spielberg, Kate Spielberg, Larry Silverstein, Jill Glazer and Peter Chernin.

Ocasio-Cortez owned her decision to refuse paying dues to the DCCC, bashing its policy to “blacklist” venders that help progressive primary challengers. She pledged to continue to support primary challengers to certain incumbents, a move that has angered her fellow Democratic members of Congress.

OCASIO-CORTEZ SAYS SHE’S A ‘PROUD’ DEMOCRAT, EVEN THOUGH SHE WON’T PAY PARTY ‘DUES’

“I don’t see the sense in giving a quarter-million dollars to an organization that has clearly told people like me that we’re not welcome,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

She’s raised money directly for certain swing-district members of Congress but has bucked the party establishment by also endorsing primary challengers for her Democratic colleagues.

In launching her new leadership PAC, on Jan. 11, AOC said the effort will allow her to campaign to help her hand-picked candidates who may be shunned by the DCCC.

And again on Friday, her campaign took another dig at the DCCC.

“The DCCC is actively putting their hand on the scales in competitive primaries. They’re blacklisting consultants and vendors who work with progressive primary challengers, no matter who they’re primarying,” the note said. “That means the DCCC is siding with pro-life, pro-Trump, pro-corporate Democrats over human rights lawyers, middle school teachers, and other progressive community leaders who will fight for working-class folks.”

Westlake Legal Group AOC-1 AOC breaks her fundraising record in crusade to take on DCCC Marisa Schultz fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc article a2166541-ad9b-5027-b8b9-9bc7cefc199f   Westlake Legal Group AOC-1 AOC breaks her fundraising record in crusade to take on DCCC Marisa Schultz fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc article a2166541-ad9b-5027-b8b9-9bc7cefc199f

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Trump signed off on the plan for his trial’s close.

Westlake Legal Group 31vid-hilights-facebookJumbo Trump signed off on the plan for his trial’s close.

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The Trump International Hotel in Washington is a frequent meeting place for Trump administration officials and associates of the President.Credit…The New York Times

Given the many Ukraine-related dramas that have played out over the last year in the lobby of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, it seems only fitting that key players in the affair were spending money this week at the hotel owned by the president’s family.

President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani was there on Thursday, at his familiar spot in the lobby mezzanine, his nameplate “Rudolph W. Giuliani, Private Office” in front of him.

Lunchtime on Friday featured Robert F. Hyde, a former landscaper from Connecticut and a long-shot Republican candidate for Congress, who was thrust into the spotlight when text messages he sent to an associate of Mr. Giuliani suggested he had the ambassador to Ukraine at the time, Marie L. Yovanovitch, under surveillance.

For the patrons at the hotel’s bar and steak house, there was a certain satisfaction that this chapter of the Trump era was drawing to what — for them — was a predictable conclusion.

“They knew they did not have a case,” said Mr. Hyde, sitting at the bar on Friday, eating a chopped wedge salad and sipping on a Diet Coke and cup of coffee. “There is no treason, no bribery. No abuse of power.”

As the Senate prepared to vote on the question of whether witnesses would be called, the bar at the hotel was buzzing, dozens of patrons with drinks in hand.

“Need popcorn,” one woman at the bar said, as the votes were being counted. “Waste of time and taxpayer money.”

The only remaining question is when Mr. Trump will show up at his hotel to be greeted by his backers that gather here. It is not likely to be this weekend. He flew out Friday afternoon for Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Florida, giving reporters a thumbs up as he left the White House.

Trump Hotel Patrons Relish Impeachment Finale

Jan. 31, 2020

The Senate vote on Friday to block new witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial signaled a crucial turning point, steering toward an all but certain acquittal within days. But immediately after the tally was finished, confusion reigned about the precise timetable for the trial’s endgame.

“Nobody has any idea,” said Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, when asked what would happen next.

Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, called a recess after the vote, but gave no indication how long it would last.

“Senators will now confer among ourselves, with the House managers, and with the president’s counsel to determine next steps as we prepare to conclude the trial in the coming days,” Mr. McConnell said.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York and the majority leader, said he was heading to a meeting with Democrats to figure out how to proceed.

“We’re still trying to figure out how to land the plane,” said Senator John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 3 Republican.

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After a motion to subpoena witnesses failed, the Senate recessed. It is unclear when the chamber will reconvene and the timing of the next steps in the trial.

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Senators Mitt Romney of Utah, left, and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, both Republicans considered critical swing votes, on Friday in the Capitol.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

The Senate voted on Friday to block the consideration of additional witnesses and documents in President Trump’s impeachment trial, as Republicans shut down a push by Democrats to bring in new evidence and cleared the way for a swift acquittal in the coming days.

The nearly party-line vote came after a bitter, four-hour debate between the prosecution and defense over the merits of prolonging the trial by introducing new information that could shed additional light on Mr. Trump’s behavior or moving forward with the all but certain verdict.

The motion to consider new witnesses and evidence failed 49 to 51, with only two Republicans joining every member of the Democratic caucus in favor.

“The facts will come out — in all of their horror, they will come out,” Representative Adam B. Schiff, the lead House manager, warned the senators before the vote. “The witnesses the president is concealing will tell their stories. And we will be asked why we didn’t want to hear that information when we had the chance. What answer shall we give if we do not pursue the truth now?”

Patrick A. Philbin, a deputy White House counsel, urged senators not to submit to unreasonable demands from the Democratic prosecutors, insisting that “the Senate is not here to do the investigatory work that the House didn’t do.

The Republican victory was sealed just moments after the debate was gaveled open when Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, issued a statement saying that a vote for additional witnesses would only extend what she called a “partisan” impeachment, even as she lamented that the Senate trial had not been fair and that Congress had failed its obligation to the country.

Her announcement followed a similar one on Thursday night by Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, who said the Democrats had proved their case that Mr. Trump had withheld military aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rival, calling the inappropriate but not impeachable.

Two Republicans senators — Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine — broke ranks with their party and voted with Democrats in their demand for additional testimony.

Friday’s vote prompted the final stages of the trial, in which senators will render their verdict on whether to remove Mr. Trump from office, which would take a two-thirds majority, or 67 votes.

The final tally is expected to unfold largely along party lines to reject the two articles of impeachment, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

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Claudine Schneider, a Republican who spent 10 years in the House representing Rhode Island, warned on Friday that by barring witnesses from testifying in President Trump’s impeachment trial, Senate Republicans would push the United States “closer than ever to authoritarian one-man rule.”

Ms. Schneider, who runs a group of moderate Republican former members of Congress called Republicans for Integrity, was joined in her call for witnesses by four other Republican former members of Congress: David Durenberger, a former senator from Minnesota, and three retired congressmen, Jim Kolbe of Arizona, David Emery of Maine and Wayne Gilchrest of Maryland.

Mr. Emery, whose home state senator, Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, intends to vote in favor of witnesses, said the founding fathers created the Senate “as a grand arbiter, able to envision the long-term consequences of our actions and measure them against the Constitution and the public interest.”

“So far,” he said, “Republican Senate leaders have failed that test.”

On Thursday, John Warner, a Republican elder statesman and former senator from Virginia, also issued a statement calling on the Senate to allow witnesses.

The Senate slipped into limbo on Friday afternoon, pausing its debate over whether to consider witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial as Republicans and Democrats huddled on the floor apparently negotiating an agreement over how to proceed.

With the Senate in what is known as a “quorum call” — essentially a way of pausing the proceedings while leaders decide what comes next — senators milled around the floor. Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Democrat of Arizona, could be spotted chatting with Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, while Representative Zoe Lofgren, Democrat of California and one of the House impeachment managers, spoke quietly with Democratic senators.

But in the center of the chamber, the focus was on Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, who stood tightly clustered with staff as they appeared to discuss timing for the trial’s next steps.

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Lev Parnas in the Capitol on Wednesday.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

As Senate Republicans appeared poised to block witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial, Lev Parnas, a former associate of Rudolph W. Giuliani who played a key role in the Ukrainian pressure campaign at the center of the proceeding, made a last-ditch bid to testify.

In a letter on Friday to Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, a lawyer for Mr. Parnas outlined an array of evidence that he might offer at the trial.

“Mr. Parnas would testify that at all times he was acting at the direction of Mr. Giuliani, on behalf of his client the president, and that the president and a number of the people in his administration and the G.O.P. were aware of the demands being imposed upon Ukraine,” the lawyer, Joseph A. Bondy, wrote in the letter, which was also sent to Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader.

While the letter did not detail major new revelations, Mr. Bondy hinted at important additions to the timeline of events surrounding the pressure campaign and the effort to remove the American ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch.

The letter also highlighted what Mr. Bondy described as Mr. Parnas’s first-hand knowledge of the events under scrutiny in the impeachment trial. That “personal knowledge,” he wrote, was “corroborated by physical evidence including text messages, phone records, documentary evidence and travel records.”

In particular, Mr. Bondy wrote, Mr. Parnas would testify that he worked alongside a “handful of Republican operatives” to remove Ms. Yovanovitch and unearth damaging information about the Bidens. He then listed a number of senior officials who he said played a role “in this plot,” including the president, Vice President Mike Pence, the former energy secretary Rick Perry, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William P. Barr and Senator Lindsey Graham.

The letter also referred to the pressure the president appeared to be placing on John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser and the witness most sought by Democrats.

The letter capped Mr. Bondy’s weekslong effort to present Mr. Parnas as a potential witness, even as Mr. Parnas, a Soviet-born businessman from Florida and former Trump donor, faces criminal charges in federal court in Manhattan.

While it appeared highly unlikely that Mr. Parnas, or anyone else would be called, Mr. Bondy concluded his letter with a final appeal.

“We urge you to endorse voting in favor of calling witnesses and hearing evidence, so senators can make a fully informed choice in the president’s impeachment inquiry, based upon all the relevant facts,” he wrote.

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Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the lead House manager, rose one final time on Friday to appeal to a Senate that had already essentially made up its mind against him.

Vote for additional witnesses and documents, he implored them, or risk “long lasting and harmful consequences long after this impeachment trial is over.”

Mr. Schiff’s warning to senators was threefold: First, he said, it would set a dangerous precedent for every future impeachment trial that witnesses and evidence were not necessary; second, the facts about Mr. Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine will come out regardless; and third, Americans will see that for the president, there is a double standard of justice.

“The witnesses the president is concealing will tell their stories,” he said. “And we will be asked why we didn’t want to hear that information when we had the chance. What answer shall we give if we do not pursue the truth now?”

Mr. Schiff connected the trial to the enforcement of laws across the country.

“Only Donald Trump out of any defendant in America can insist on a trial without witnesses,” he said. “The importance of a fair trial here is not less than in any courtroom in America. It is greater than in any courtroom in America, because we set the example for America.”

As the Senate marched toward the final phase of President Trump’s impeachment trial, a handful of Republicans coalesced around a common position: Mr. Trump did what he was accused of — pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rival — but should not be removed for it.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly insisted that he did nothing wrong with regard to Ukraine, calling his telephone call with the country’s president “perfect” and insisting that the impeachment inquiry was a “hoax.”

But even as they were poised to acquit him, several Republican senators were rejecting that assertion, saying his actions were wrong and inappropriate — just not grounds for the Senate to oust him.

Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, said Thursday that House Democrats had proved the central allegation at the heart of the case. In a statement, he said it was “inappropriate for the president to ask a foreign leader to investigate his political opponent and to withhold United States aid to encourage that investigation.”

But he added that the Constitution does not give the Senate the power to remove the president from office “simply for actions that are inappropriate.” And in an interview on Friday, he said that the public would not accept the Senate substituting its judgment on Mr. Trump for its own less than 10 months before an election.

On Friday, Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, came to a similar conclusion. He agreed that the president delayed aid to Ukraine and asked a foreign country to investigate a political opponent, calling it “wrong and inappropriate.” Like Mr. Alexander, Mr. Portman said the president’s actions do not rise “to the level of removing a duly-elected president from office.”

For months, Mr. Trump has demanded that his allies deliver nothing less than an absolute defense of his actions, and until now, most Republicans on Capitol Hill have largely toed that line. But as the proceeding neared its conclusion and senators began explaining a historic vote in only the third presidential impeachment trial in history, many were shifting their stance.

Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, told reporters simply that, “Lamar speaks for lots and lots of us.” He did not elaborate.

And Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, said in a statement that even if the president’s actions were wrong, impeachment and removal from office is not warranted.

“For purposes of answering my threshold question, I assumed what is alleged is true,” Mr. Rubio said. “And then I sought to answer the question of whether under these assumptions it would be in the interest of the nation to remove the president.”

He said he concluded it would not be.

“Just because actions meet a standard of impeachment does not mean it is in the best interest of the country to remove a president from office,” Mr. Rubio said.

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“There is no agreement between Leader McConnell and myself,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader.Credit…Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times

Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, said on Friday that he had not said yes to holding a final impeachment vote on Wednesday, as his Republican counterpart, Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, has suggested.

“There is no agreement between Leader McConnell and myself,” Mr. Schumer said. “We have stood for one thing: We do not want this rushed through. We do not want it in the dark of night. Members have an obligation to tell the American people and to tell the people of their states why they are voting.”

Democrats’ ability to extend the trial might be limited, but it is not nonexistent, he added.

“We do have some power in the minority,” Mr. Schumer said. “And we will use it to get things — to prevent things from just being truncated in the dark of night.”

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“In my view, they kind of leave themselves open to a lot of criticism,” John F. Kelly, President Trump’s former chief of staff, said of the Senate.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

John F. Kelly, President Trump’s former chief of staff and secretary of homeland security, said on Friday that the Senate would be known forever as a body that “shirks its responsibilities” if it wraps up the trial of his former boss without hearing witnesses.

Mr. Kelly, breaking even further with the president, said the impeachment proceedings would be only “half a trial” if the senators did not hear testimony from the likes of John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser, who wrote in an unpublished book that Mr. Trump directly conditioned American security aid to politically beneficial investigations.

“In my view, they kind of leave themselves open to a lot of criticism,” Mr. Kelly told NJ Advance Media in an interview tied to an upcoming speech at Drew University. “It seems it was half a trial.”

Mr. Kelly, who already said this week that he believed Mr. Bolton’s account, which the president has denied, pointed to polls showing overwhelming public support for witnesses.

“If I was advising the United States Senate, I would say, ‘If you don’t respond to 75 percent of the American voters and have witnesses, it’s a job only half done,’” he said. “You open yourself up forever as a Senate that shirks its responsibilities.”

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Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, avoided making a determination as to whether the president’s conduct was appropriate.Credit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

As Republican senators announced they would vote to acquit President Trump, they cited a reason divorced from the merits of the president’s conduct, arguing that removing Mr. Trump months away from the presidential election would serve only to deepen the nation’s bitter divisions.

Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, announced on Friday that he would vote to block hearing from additional witnesses and acquit Mr. Trump, though he reiterated that he found some of the president’s actions “wrong and inappropriate.”

“Our country is already too deeply divided and we should be working to heal wounds, not create new ones,” Mr. Portman said in a statement. “It is better to let the people decide.”

Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, in announcing his vote in a lengthy statement on Friday, used similar language, but avoided making a determination as to whether Mr. Trump’s conduct was appropriate.

“Can anyone doubt that at least half of the country would view his removal as illegitimate — as nothing short of a coup d’état?” Mr. Rubio wrote. “It is difficult to conceive of any scheme Putin could undertake that would undermine confidence in our democracy more than removal would.”

Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the lead Democratic House manager, opened by referring to The New York Times’s revelation on Friday that President Trump’s role in the Ukraine pressure campaign began earlier than previously known. Mr. Schiff emphasized that Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, was present when the president delivered that instruction.

“He said all the facts should come out,” Mr. Schiff said of Mr. Cipollone. “Well, here’s a new fact, which indicates that Mr. Cipollone was among those who were in the loop.”

Mr. Schiff called the Times article, which cited an unpublished manuscript by John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser, as “yet another reason why we want to hear from witnesses.” Reports about Mr. Bolton’s unpublished book, Mr. Schiff added, was evidence of the need to call the former aide as a witness.

“Mr. Bolton’s manuscript portrays the most senior White House advisers as early witnesses in the effort that they have sought to distance the president from, including the White House counsel,” he said.

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President Trump speaking at an event in Warren, Mich. on Thursday.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

If the Senate acquits President Trump in the next 24 hours, it will be a political gift for him that couldn’t come at a better time.

On Sunday, the president is scheduled to be interviewed by Sean Hannity of Fox News during the half time of the Super Bowl, one of the biggest platforms in all of television. He would no doubt seize the opportunity to declare vindication in an impeachment inquiry that he has repeatedly called a “hoax” and a “sham.”

A day later, Mr. Trump will cruise to victory — unopposed — in the Iowa Republican caucuses, officially kicking off his re-election bid. While Democrats will describe him as a permanently impeached president, Mr. Trump is likely to use a verdict of not guilty to declare himself cleared of all charges.

On Tuesday evening, Mr. Trump will arrive at the Capitol to deliver his annual State of the Union address. Armed with an acquittal, he will be able to face his Democratic accusers in their own chamber, denouncing their attempts to force him from office in front of millions of viewers.

And six days after that, the president will hold a rally in New Hampshire, offering a preview of the message he will use in his campaign: that the Democrats failed in their attempt to thwart the will of the people with a bogus and unfair investigation and a trial that found he did nothing wrong.

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Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, during a break in the impeachment trial this week.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, has said little during the impeachment trial. And he told reporters briefly on Friday that he would remain silent. But he did offer one comment about Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, who said late Thursday that President Trump’s actions were not impeachable.

“Lamar speaks for lots and lots of us,” Mr. Sasse said. He did not elaborate.

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Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, this week in the Capitol.Credit…Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times

Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, said Friday she would vote against including new witnesses and documents in President Trump’s impeachment trial, likely dealing a fatal blow to Democrats’ attempts to compel new evidence as she lamented that “Congress has failed.”

In a statement released just as the House managers began pleading their case for witnesses, Ms. Murkowski called their impeachment articles too “rushed and flawed” to warrant prolonging the trial. But she also said she had become convinced that the Senate would be unable to deliver a fair trial, echoing a point made repeatedly by Democrats though with different reasoning.

“I carefully considered the need for additional witnesses and documents, to cure the shortcomings of its process, but ultimately decided that I will vote against considering motions to subpoena,” she said.

Ms. Murkowski’s decision is all but certain to clear the way for Republicans, who have been working feverishly to block witnesses from testifying, to bring Mr. Trump’s trial to a swift acquittal, possibly as early as Friday night. She announced it before a four-hour debate and a vote on whether to allow new evidence, scheduled for later Friday.

Ms. Murkowski did not indicate how she would vote on the final articles of impeachment. But she offered an unusually sharp rebuke of the institution in which she serves, appearing to cast blame on both parties and both chambers of Congress for letting excessive partisanship overtake a solemn responsibility, even as she sided with her own party.

“Given the partisan nature of this impeachment from the very beginning and throughout, I have come to the conclusion that there will be no fair trial in the Senate,” she said. “I don’t believe the continuation of this process will change anything.”

“It is sad for me to admit that, as an institution, the Congress has failed,” she added.

Democrats would need four Republicans to join them in the call for additional testimony and documents, which would prolong the trial and inject an element of unpredictability into the proceeding. They suffered a blow on Thursday night when Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee and a critical swing vote, announced that he would stick with his party and vote no.

Mr. Alexander said there was already plenty of evidence proving that the president had withheld military aid from Ukraine to pressure the country for political favors, calling the actions “inappropriate” but not impeachable.

His Republican colleagues, Senators Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine, have said that they will vote in favor of seeking testimony from additional witnesses, extending the trial.

Ms. Murkowski also appeared to refer to the possibility the witness vote could have ended in a tie if she had voted yes. In that case, Democrats had been urging Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. to step in to break the tie. Ms. Murkowski said that would have been unacceptable.

“I will not stand for nor support that effort,” she said. “We have already degraded this institution for partisan political benefit, and I will not enable those who wish to pull down another.”

“We are sadly at a low point of division in this country,” she added.

With Ms. Murkowski’s decision, the Senate may be able to proceed to a final vote on each article of impeachment as soon as late Friday. The final votes could also slip into Saturday or next week if senators demand a deliberation period, akin to what they did before rendering a verdict in the 1999 impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton.

Either way, Mr. Trump is headed to an all but certain acquittal in a trial where it would take a two-thirds majority — 67 senators — to convict. The only real question remains if any senators of either party will break ranks, handing him a bipartisan verdict.

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“I need to be home with my wife at this time,” Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, said on Twitter.Credit…T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and one of the seven House impeachment managers, said he would miss the proceedings on Friday to be home with his wife, who has pancreatic cancer.

“I need to be home with my wife at this time,” Mr. Nadler said on Twitter. “We have many decisions to make as a family. I have every faith in my colleagues and hope the Senate will do what is right.”

The Senate’s impeachment trial of President Trump could continue into next week under a plan being discussed on Friday by Republican officials.

Though it has not been completed and may merely be an effort to nudge weary senators toward a speedier conclusion, the plan would have the Senate leave town Friday night after a vote on whether to consider additional witnesses and evidence.

The trial would then reconvene on Monday for closing arguments by the House managers and the president’s defense team and possible senatorial deliberations, according to the officials, who were not authorized to speak publicly. With the potential parliamentary protests by Democrats in the offing, as well, that would set up a final vote on each article of impeachment by late Monday, Tuesday or even Wednesday.

Republicans had previously homed in on concluding the trial on Saturday. That would allow Mr. Trump to play up his acquittal before the Super Bowl on Sunday, the Iowa caucus on Monday and at his State of the Union Address on Tuesday.

It is unclear if the White House would be willing to sign on to the plan, or if it would have a say. Some Democrats have their own reason to push for a speedier conclusion: four of them are competing in Monday’s Iowa caucuses.

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Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, said on Thursday that he would not vote to call witnesses.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, who announced Thursday he would not support new witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Trump, said on Friday that he did not think the American public would accept Mr. Trump’s ouster if the Senate removed him.

With the presidential primary process beginning on Monday with the Iowa caucuses, Mr. Alexander — whose position makes it likely that Senate Republicans be able to bring the trial to a close quickly with no additional evidence — said he feared that convicting Mr. Trump and barring him from future office would inflame the country.

“The Senate reflects the country, and the country is as divided as it has been for a long time,” said Mr. Alexander during an interview in his Capitol office. “For the Senate to tear up the ballots in this election and say President Trump couldn’t be on it, the country probably wouldn’t accept that. It would just pour gasoline on cultural fires that are burning out there.”

Mr. Alexander said that he determined during the trial that Mr. Trump had acted inappropriately in pushing the president of Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., but that it did not merit throwing the president out of office.

“If you are persuaded that he did it, why do you need more witnesses?” he asked. “If you’ve got nine witnesses who say he left the scene of a crime or he left the scene of an accident, you don’t need a 10th. I don’t need more evidence to decide if he did it.”

The start of the primary races next week seemed to figure prominently into Mr. Alexander’s thinking.

“The country is not going to accept being told that they can’t elect the president they want to elect in the week the election starts by a majority for a merely inappropriate telephone call or action,” he said. “They are not going to buy it and they shouldn’t.”

“I’m saying that you don’t apply capital punishment for every offense, and removing him from office the same week the election starts would be applying capital offense to something that is simply inappropriate,” he said.

Mr. Alexander said he expected that voters would weigh Mr. Trump’s conduct regarding Ukraine along with other elements of his record.

“Whatever you think of his behavior, with the terrific economy, with conservative judges, with fewer regulations, you add in there an inappropriate call with the president of Ukraine and you decide if your prefer him or Elizabeth Warren,” he said, referring to the Massachusetts senator who is a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination.

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John R. Bolton, President Trump’s former national security adviser.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

The newest revelations from the book by President Trump’s former national security adviser, John R. Bolton, put top aides in the room when Mr. Trump asked Mr. Bolton to help with his pressure campaign on Ukraine.

Mr. Trump gave the instruction, Mr. Bolton wrote, in the Oval Office in early May and in front of the acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani and the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, who is now leading the president’s impeachment defense.

The account supports testimony from witnesses who testified in the House impeachment inquiry, including Gordon D. Sondland, who said that “everyone was in the loop.”

Mr. Giuliani called Mr. Bolton’s account “categorically untrue.” Neither Mr. Bolton nor a representative for Mr. Mulvaney responded to requests for comment. A White House spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.

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Senator Kamala Harris, along with Senators Chuck Schumer and Patty Murray, at a news conference on Friday at the Capitol.Credit…Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times

Senate Democrats said on Friday that they would push for open deliberations in President Trump’s impeachment trial, although Senate precedent dictates that debate is conducted in private.

“The American people should hear what every senator thinks and why they are voting the way they are voting, and we will do what we can to make sure that happens,” Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, told reporters Friday morning.

Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, said he was introducing a motion to require open debate. But Democrats would need a majority of the Senate to adopt such a motion, and it is unclear whether Republicans would agree.

Mr. Schumer said he would meet with his caucus to discuss how to proceed after Friday’s vote on whether to hear witnesses. Democrats have all but conceded that Republicans have the 51 votes they need to block witnesses at the trial.

Mr. Schumer singled out the pivotal Republican — Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who announced Thursday night that he would vote no on witnesses.

While Mr. Alexander reached “the wrong conclusion,” Mr. Schumer said, he “said out loud what I think most Republicans believe in private”: that Mr. Trump “did what he was accused of” and sought the “corruption of a national election.”

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Every day outside the Capitol, there have been a handful of protesters, including a group of five or six that stood in 30-degree weather one evening as midnight neared to yell pleas for witnesses and documents at departing cars.

But on Friday, after Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, announced that he would not support new evidence, the largest group yet — of about 10 — stood outside with a variety of posters, including ones that read, “GOP Put Country Before Party” and “GOP: Serve Truth. Not Your Own Interests.”

Senators’ offices — particularly Republicans — have been inundated with phone calls urging for votes: either on acquittal or removal, to defend the president and deliver him a swift end to the trial or to call for more witnesses and subpoenas.

Asked about call volume, the office of Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine and a closely watched swing vote, said that about one in every 25 calls was targeted, profane or threatening.

“If you don’t have the guts and the integrity, I sure hope you didn’t breed,” one person said in a voice mail message provided by the office. “I sure hope you don’t have children.”

Ms. Collins said late Thursday said she would support subpoenaing witnesses and documents.

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Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, arriving at the Capitol on Friday.Credit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Nearly all Republican senators are expected to oppose hearing from new witnesses like John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser. And they see plenty of reasons to do so.

A vote to summon witnesses for the Senate trial could prolong the proceeding and inject an element of uncertainty, while the defeat of the effort would pave the way for the quick acquittal eagerly awaited by Mr. Trump and his allies in Congress.

Among the arguments the Republicans are using to justify their stance are that hearing from witnesses was the House’s job; that the House did not try hard enough to secure testimony; that House managers already say they have proved their case; and there would be no new information.

The Fight Over Witnesses

President Trump on Friday suggested there was discord among two House impeachment managers, based on the end of the Senate trial’s question and answer session Thursday night when two of the managers appeared to want to answer the same question.

“They are fighting big time!” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter.

The last question of the night came from Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, who asked that the House impeachment managers respond to a recent answer from Mr. Trump’s defense team.

Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York quickly stood and approached the lectern to deliver a response. Representative Adam B. Schiff, the lead House manager, tried to prevent Mr. Nadler from answering the question, standing up and quietly saying, “Jerry. Jerry. Jerry.”

Unfazed, Mr. Nadler, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, started speaking.

The dynamics between Mr. Nadler and Mr. Schiff have been tense at times during the Senate trial.

At one point last week, Mr. Schiff stepped in to respond to a reporter’s question at a news conference, cutting Mr. Nadler off.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine in Kyiv on Friday.Credit…Pool photo by Kevin Lamarque

KYIV, Ukraine — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that the Trump administration was committed to supporting Ukraine in its defense against aggression by Russia, though he did not offer President Volodymyr Zelensky the one thing he has sought since last May: an invitation to meet President Trump at the White House.

Mr. Pompeo’s visit was aimed at calming unease among Ukrainian officials about the relationship between Washington and Kyiv, which has been thrust into the spotlight because of the impeachment of Mr. Trump.

An invitation to meet Mr. Trump at the White House would be an important signal to Russia of American support for Ukraine. Mr. Pompeo’s message that Mr. Trump had no immediate plans to receive Mr. Zelensky at the White House was a blow to the Ukrainian president’s national security efforts.

Ukrainian officials are angry that the Americans have granted Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, two visits with Mr. Trump in the White House, most recently in December.

In renewing his request for a meeting Friday, Mr. Zelensky said, “If there is anything we can negotiate and discuss, and if I can bring something back home, I am ready to go straight away.”

Friday’s session could be definitive, likely capped by a vote on whether to consider new witnesses and evidence. But after that vote, which Republicans are confident will be rejected, things in President Trump’s impeachment trial could become a little messy. Nicholas Fandos, a congressional correspondent for The New York Times, walked me through what to expect.

The trial will resume at 1 p.m., but with a new shape: There will be four hours of debate, split between the House managers and Mr. Trump’s lawyers, on the question of witnesses. We’ll most likely hear Adam Schiff talking one more time about why they need to hear from John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser, and others. The president’s lawyers will say that if you go down that path, it will open up a Pandora’s box and keep the trial going for weeks more.

After the conclusion of that debate, something unusual could happen: Senators could move into a private deliberation, where they close the doors, kick reporters out of the Senate press gallery and turn off cameras. But that’s unlikely, mostly because we already know how Republicans will vote.

Then, in the late afternoon or early evening, the vote on whether to consider witnesses and documents will take place. Remember: It’s a vote about whether they even want to allow the Senate to consider calling witnesses, not a vote on the witnesses themselves. If the vote fails, the trial is, for all intents and purposes, heading toward a conclusion.

If the Senate does vote to consider witnesses — a big “if,” considering we pretty much know the votes — then we’ll be in an uncertain period where the two legal teams can offer motions on specific people and documents, and each one will get a vote. It would open up a free-for-all in which Democrats could keep demanding votes. The president’s lawyers could demand votes, too, on witnesses like Hunter Biden.

Regardless of how the vote turns out, Senate leaders will likely break to discuss what to do next.

The dinnertime hours could be when things get really messy. The next big step, assuming the witness motion fails, is a vote on each of the impeachment articles. But there are a lot of high jinks Senate Democrats could pull between the witness vote and the verdict, including forcing a bunch of procedural votes. But it’s hard to say exactly what they could do, because they’re still figuring that out. The session could go deep into the night.

If Republicans had their choice, they would vote to acquit Mr. Trump by the end of the night. But that may be difficult. Some senators may want, as they did during the Clinton impeachment, to deliberate a while about final votes, which are expected as early as Saturday.

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Senator Mitt Romney’s ability to recruit Republican colleagues to his position has been minimal at best.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, is the rare Senate Republican — actually the lone Senate Republican until late Thursday — vocally pushing for witnesses to be called in President Trump’s impeachment trial. He is also the only Senate Republican who is seen as a possible vote to convict the president, an added distinction since Mr. Trump got every House Republican to fall in line.

All of which places upon Mr. Romney a level of curiosity that goes beyond the quasi-celebrity treatment he already receives as the last pre-Trump standard-bearer of a Republican Party that feels about 80 years removed from the party that nominated him eight years ago.

At least among Democrats lately, Mr. Romney has also become a magnet for nostalgia. “He is a decent, honorable man,” former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said in a recent interview. Mr. Biden conceded that it was unlikely that he would be running for president right now if it were Mr. Romney seeking re-election, not Mr. Trump.

“I think this is Senator Romney’s moment to shine,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar, another Democratic presidential candidate who was in Washington for the impeachment trial. She was referring specifically to Mr. Romney’s support for calling witnesses.

“Hopefully he can bring some people with him,” Ms. Klobuchar said. She meant Republicans, a prospect that was looking more and more unlikely. By most indications, Mr. Romney’s ability to recruit Republican colleagues to his position has been minimal at best. After the Senate adjourned Thursday night, Senator Susan Collins of Maine said she would vote in favor of considering additional witnesses and documents. But Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee announced he would vote no.

The president has not been shy about heaping scorn upon Mr. Romney. It has created a situation in which some of Mr. Romney’s colleagues have taken their own shots at him, no doubt as a way to prove allegiance to their audience of one in the White House.

Before leaving the sanctuary of his hideaway and heading back to the trial, Mr. Romney grew solemn. “I think of this as an inflection point, politically in our country,” he said. “It’s a constitutional issue. I feel a sense of deep responsibility to abide by the Constitution, to determine — absent the pulls from the right and the pulls from the left — what is the right thing to do?”

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7:45 a.m. Jan. 31, 2020

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On their last day of questioning in the impeachment trial of President Trump, senators put Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. in the middle of the fray.Credit…Image by Doug Mills/The New York Times

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The vote on Friday on whether to call witnesses like John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser, is likely to determine the remainder of the trial.Credit…T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

The impeachment trial was upended this week by revelations from John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser, that contradict much of President Trump’s defense about freezing aid to Ukraine. The new information, laid out in a manuscript of Mr. Bolton’s coming book, left Republican senators scrambling to assess what else Mr. Bolton might disclose.

For a time, it looked as if the trajectory of the trial could shift. By midweek, Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, privately acknowledged that he was uncertain whether he had enough votes to block Democrats from calling witnesses like Mr. Bolton to testify.

But by Thursday, Senate Republicans once again seemed confident that they could prevail in voting down a motion to introduce new witnesses, and potentially fast-track a vote on whether to remove Mr. Trump from office. That seemed even more certain after Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican whose vote is critical for Democrats, said he would vote against calling witnesses.

Representative Adam B. Schiff, the lead House manager, on Thursday worked to sell Republicans on a compromise in which new witnesses could be deposed but their collective testimony would be limited to one week. At the same time, Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, suggested that he was examining ways to stall a final vote to acquit the president, most likely by resorting to procedural tactics.

The vote over witnesses on Friday is likely to determine the remainder of the trial. After a tense week in which it seemed as if lawmakers could be swayed to compel witnesses, each senator will have to make a final decision after debate.

What we’re expecting to see:
The Senate will convene for a highly anticipated debate over whether to subpoena new witnesses and seek additional documents from the Trump administration that could shed more light on the central questions in the impeachment inquiry.

When we’re likely to see it:
The trial will reconvene at 1 p.m. Eastern. Senate rules dictate that there will first be a four-hour debate over new witnesses and documents, followed by a vote. Each side will have two hours.

How to follow it:
The New York Times’s congressional and White House teams will be following all of the developments in Washington and will be streaming the trial live on this page. Stay with us.

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Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Netflix show carries ‘considerable risks to health,’ top health expert says

Westlake Legal Group Gwyneth-Paltrow-GETTY-cropped Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Netflix show carries ‘considerable risks to health,’ top health expert says New York Post Natalie O'Neill fox-news/person/gwyneth-paltrow fox-news/organization/netflix fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc eb99bff4-a9f0-5db5-b7b0-a750ffe71b39 article

A top British health chief slammed Gwyneth Paltrow’s new Netflix series on alternative wellness as potentially dangerous to viewers.

During the series, the star offers tips on everything from “vampire facials,” to magic mushroom therapy and “energy exorcisms” — which poses a “considerable health risk” to the public, said England’s National Health Service England chief executive Simon Stevens.

“Goop has just popped up with a new TV series, in which Gwyneth Paltrow and her team test vampire facials and back a body worker, who claims to cure both acute psychological trauma and side-effects by simply moving his hands two inches above a customer’s body,” Stevens said, according to the BBC.

GWYNETH PALTROW RECALLS ‘VERY EMOTIONAL’ EXPERIENCE AFTER TAKING MDMA WITH HUSBAND BRAD FALCHUK

He added, “Her brand peddles psychic vampire repellent, says chemical sunscreen is a bad idea, and promotes colonic irrigation and DIY coffee enema machines, despite them carrying considerable risks to health.”

The 47-year-old actress and lifestyle guru’s show begins with a disclaimer, saying it’s “designed to entertain, not provide medical advice” — but Stevens accused her of spreading “misinformation” at an academic event in Oxford Thursday.

The show, “The Goop Lab,” is chock-full of “dubious wellness products and dodgy procedures,” he said, adding the subject is “a fertile ground for quacks, charlatans and cranks.”

GWYNETH PALTROW SAYS PSYCHEDELICS WILL BE THE NEXT BIG TREND IN WELLNESS CULTURE

During the six-part series, Paltrow gets help from doctors, researchers and other health providers to explore practices ranging from the use of psychedelic drugs to treat emotional trauma to a “fast-mimicking diet” that makes you feel starving.

A spokeswoman for Goop said the firm is, “transparent when we cover emerging topics that may be unsupported by science or may be in early stages of review.”

But it’s not the first time the actress’s health brand has faced criticism for making allegedly phony health claims.

GWYNETH PALTROW IS SELLING A VAGINA-SCENTED CANDLE, AND IT’S ALREADY SOLD OUT

In September 2018, Goop forked over a $145,000 settlement after claiming its stone eggs, which are inserted into women’s vaginas, could balance hormones.

Earlier this week, the Industry watchdog Truth in Advertising blasted the actress’s website for “deceptively marketing products.”

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The series debuted on Netflix on Jan. 24.

This article originally appeared in Page Six.

Westlake Legal Group Gwyneth-Paltrow-GETTY-cropped Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Netflix show carries ‘considerable risks to health,’ top health expert says New York Post Natalie O'Neill fox-news/person/gwyneth-paltrow fox-news/organization/netflix fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc eb99bff4-a9f0-5db5-b7b0-a750ffe71b39 article   Westlake Legal Group Gwyneth-Paltrow-GETTY-cropped Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Netflix show carries ‘considerable risks to health,’ top health expert says New York Post Natalie O'Neill fox-news/person/gwyneth-paltrow fox-news/organization/netflix fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc eb99bff4-a9f0-5db5-b7b0-a750ffe71b39 article

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CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin: ‘Trump won’ and ‘that’s how history will remember’ this impeachment

Westlake Legal Group Jeffrey-Toobin-CNN CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin: 'Trump won' and 'that's how history will remember' this impeachment Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 93f853fd-c4e3-5390-9b72-97bfaa7fc0f2

CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin declared President Trump the winner of the impeachment trial after the Senate failed to pass a motion to call for additional witnesses.

In a 51-49 vote, Republicans were able to block the growing call for new testimony after a manuscript of former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s forthcoming book leaked, directly tying Trump to the efforts to withhold aid from Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into the Bidens.

While Sens Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Mitt Romney, R-Utah, sided with the Democrats, swing-vote Sens Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., derailed the Democrats’ efforts to bring in Bolton as a witness among others.

CNN’S JEFFREY TOOBIN FAWNS OVER SCHIFF’S ‘DAZZLING’ PERFORMANCE DURING SENATE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL

Following the crucial vote, Toobin was asked to give the “big picture” of the latest developments of the impeachment trial.

“Trump won,” Toobin replied. “You know, he’s gonna win this trial. He won on the issue of witnesses, he’s gonna get acquitted, and that’s how history will remember what went on here.”

He continued, “I think history will also record that there are at least one — and perhaps other pivotal, pivotal witnesses who were available to … the Senate to talk about the precise issue that is the subject of this impeachment trial and the Senate decided not to hear from him.”

Toobin also told the panel that the fact that Bolton has a new book and how he’s “giving speeches for money” while the Senate declined to hear from him directly is an “absolute travesty.”

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Last week, Toobin raised eyebrows for claiming that lead House manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., gave a “dazzling” performance during the opening arguments of the impeachment trial.

“I thought it was dazzling,” Toobin began. “I thought the way he wove through both the facts of the case and the historical context was really remarkable. It was the second-best courtroom address — since it’s like a courtroom, that I ever heard.”

Westlake Legal Group Jeffrey-Toobin-CNN CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin: 'Trump won' and 'that's how history will remember' this impeachment Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 93f853fd-c4e3-5390-9b72-97bfaa7fc0f2   Westlake Legal Group Jeffrey-Toobin-CNN CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin: 'Trump won' and 'that's how history will remember' this impeachment Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 93f853fd-c4e3-5390-9b72-97bfaa7fc0f2

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Steve Hilton: Trump in a ‘win-win’ situation whether Democrats choose Biden or Bernie

Westlake Legal Group Video-6 Steve Hilton: Trump in a 'win-win' situation whether Democrats choose Biden or Bernie fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/vermont fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/delaware fox-news/shows/americas-newsroom fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 8c6a495c-56ad-5026-b44c-feeda35b7f21

The Next Revolution” host Steve Hilton predicted that President Trump will win reelection in November if either of the two top-polling Democrats wins their party’s nomination.

Hilton told “America’s Newsroom” Friday that the left wing of the Democratic Party appears “energized” by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., while former Vice President Joe Biden currently holds the top spot in the moderate lane.

Ed Henry pointed Hilton to recent polling that showed Sanders surging in Iowa, news which Hilton said should make Trump feel great.

“I think it shows something that actually President Trump said the other day: He’s the one they really want,” Hilton said of Sanders.

GINGRICH: ADAM SCHIFF’S FAKE TRUMP-PUTIN CONVERSATION SHOWED HE’S A ‘PATHOLOGICAL LIAR’

“The energy in the Democratic Party is with that far-left wing in terms of the young activists, especially. That’s where all the money is being raised and where the energy is. Nobody’s ready to predict yet that Bernie will certainly do well. Biden will do well.”

Hilton added that Pete Buttigieg’s moderate popularity may somewhat muddy the results in forthcoming states, but that Biden and Sanders appear to be the top choices.

“To me, it’s a win-win for President Trump either way,” he said. “Both these characters have huge flaws and drawbacks.”

Hilton said Sanders’ left-wing ideology and Biden’s status as a “symbol of the swamp” will hurt their potential general election campaigns against the incumbent president.

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He said Trump similarly dispatched Hillary Clinton in 2016 by similarly painting her as out of touch, too liberal and an entrenched member of the political establishment.

Shifting the discussion to Trump’s impeachment, Hilton praised Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who announced late Thursday he would vote against calling witnesses to testify in the trial.

Hilton called Alexander’s decision a “very measured statement from a very respected senator.”

Alexander, 79, is retiring this year after three terms in the Senate.

Westlake Legal Group Video-6 Steve Hilton: Trump in a 'win-win' situation whether Democrats choose Biden or Bernie fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/vermont fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/delaware fox-news/shows/americas-newsroom fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 8c6a495c-56ad-5026-b44c-feeda35b7f21   Westlake Legal Group Video-6 Steve Hilton: Trump in a 'win-win' situation whether Democrats choose Biden or Bernie fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/vermont fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/delaware fox-news/shows/americas-newsroom fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 8c6a495c-56ad-5026-b44c-feeda35b7f21

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Plans for Alabama’s Deadly Prisons ‘Won’t Fix the Horrors’

Westlake Legal Group 31ALABAMA-facebookJumbo Plans for Alabama’s Deadly Prisons ‘Won’t Fix the Horrors’ Prisons and Prisoners Justice Department Eighth Amendment (US Constitution) Alabama

WASHINGTON — After months of promising to fix Alabama’s dangerously violent prison system, a panel appointed by the governor issued recommendations this week that would do little to address the underlying problems identified last year in a scathing Justice Department report, which documented prisoners being routinely assaulted and tortured, sometimes with the knowledge and even participation of prison guards.

The plan calls for more oversight, new supermax facilities and a long-term reduction in the overall inmate population, but the panel acknowledged that those recommendations alone would not bring an end to the “severe, systemic” conditions that the Justice Department said violated the Eighth Amendment protection from cruel and unusual punishment.

Alabama lawmakers have long declined to impose oversight or build new facilities, leaving existing prisons to crumble and allowing drugs and gang violence to flourish behind their walls. Conditions documented last year by federal civil rights investigators included overcrowding, understaffing, free-flowing weapons and drugs, corruption among management and staff, extortion, and facilities so bad that investigators had to walk past raw sewage during an inspection.

A failure to fix those problems could result in Alabama’s prison system being placed in the hands of an outside, court-appointed party that would control its budget and operations. Something similar happened to California in 2006, when a federal judge gave an outside authority control over the mental health system in its state prisons. And in 2011, the United States Supreme Court found the state in violation of the Eighth Amendment and ordered it to reduce the prison population.

The recommended solutions released on Thursday by the study group appointed by Gov. Kay Ivey hinge on the passage of laws that would impose additional oversight over the Corrections Department, reform sentencing guidelines to keep people out of prison, and create educational and training programs that would help inmates achieve parole.

“Many of the recommendations are sensible, common-sense steps that the state should be doing,” said Carla Crowder, executive director of the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice. “But they won’t fix the horrors laid out by the Justice Department.”

The working group conceded that its suggestions could not fully address the severe problems that have gripped the state’s prisons. Rather, it hoped to create ways for lawmakers to address a system “in which these inmates become more violent while in prison and then commit new crimes upon release from prison only to return to prison.”

The top recommendation was to give the Legislature more insight into what is happening behind bars.

“Right now there is no oversight of conditions on the inside and no reporting on suicides, murders, inmate violence or officer violence,” said Cam Ward, a Republican state senator and chair of the prison oversight committee. “We can’t come in and investigate. We have no way to make them give us the numbers.”

Mr. Ward said he would support a bill drafted by Representative Chris England, the chair of the state Democratic Party, that would provide additional oversight.

Jeff Dunn, the state’s corrections commissioner, said in a statement that his department was “committed to transparency” and would “agree and look forward to working with the Legislature on increased oversight.”

Alabama’s prisons have deteriorated over decades, as low pay for corrections officers and the growth of the prison population coincided with the expansion of a robust black market for contraband and drugs, sometimes aided and abetted by prison officials and employees.

Buildings, which are not air-conditioned, fell into disrepair. Locks stopped working, and mirrors and cameras were rarely used. Murder, rape, torture and other forms of retribution and terror became a way of life. Homicides and suicides exceeded the national average, and in February 2019, a judge found that the system’s conditions for mentally ill inmates were unconstitutional.

During a single week, the Justice Department chronicled at least four stabbings, one fatal; four beatings, one that involved a sock full of metal locks; a prisoner’s bed being set on fire while he slept; three sexual assaults, including a man being forced to perform oral sex on two men at knife point; and a death by drug overdose.

Investigators said the state had been “deliberately indifferent” to these conditions. Several corrections officers have been arrested over the past year and charged with crimes including bribery and drug trafficking.

The department gave the state a five-page list of remedial actions it needed to undertake. By last October, the Corrections Department was supposed to have commissioned a study to assess transferring eligible prisoners out of the system to relieve the overcrowding and hired at least 500 additional employees.

It is unclear how many of the department’s 25 immediate recommendations and 18 long-term measures the state has undertaken. Both agencies declined to comment because the recommendations are part of continuing legal discussions. But the problems that the Justice Department identified have only increased in the nine months since its report.

At least 29 people have died of suicides, stabbings and other preventable deaths since the beginning of 2019, in a system that houses nearly 28,000 people, according to Alabamians for Fair Justice, a prison reform and watchdog group. The national average for prison homicides in 2014 was seven per 100,000 prisoners, according to the Justice Department.

The prison population has risen by more than 1,000 people over the past fiscal year, according to the Corrections Department. And the overcrowding will become even worse; the state decided this week to close most of Holman Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison that houses death row inmates and is one of the state’s oldest facilities.

The Justice Department was not pleased that Alabama did not consult with its officials on the decision to close the prison, which is sure to exacerbate the crowding issue. Jay E. Town, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, issued a statement that said, “I am disappointed that we were not privy to the decision to close Holman at the time such a decision was being considered.”

Mr. Ward, the state corrections commissioner, said security protocols around the movement of inmates prevented the state from informing the Justice Department of its decision. But he acknowledged that Alabama faces significant risk if its prisons continue to violate the Constitution.

“We don’t want to be put into receivership and have someone come in and oversee the system,” he said. “Then the state loses control.”

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Megathread: Senate votes not to call witnesses in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial

Westlake Legal Group 1LrgJUX19-9ewHU8PWHXmABUQthcsnuF3WKOouJF5R0 Megathread: Senate votes not to call witnesses in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial r/politics

The Senate on Friday night narrowly rejected a motion to call new witnesses in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, paving the way for a final vote to acquit the president by next week.

In a 51-49 vote, the Senate defeated a push by Democrats to depose former national security adviser John Bolton and other witnesses on their knowledge of the Ukraine scandal that led to Trump’s impeachment.

Two Republicans — Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah — joined all 47 Senate Democrats in voting for the motion. Two potential GOP swing votes, Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, stuck with their party, ensuring Democrats were defeated.


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Watters: Impeachment witness vote is ‘enormous tactical loss’ for Democrats, leaves Biden exposed

Westlake Legal Group d2d76124-Video-2 Watters: Impeachment witness vote is 'enormous tactical loss' for Democrats, leaves Biden exposed fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/mitt-romney fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 2a1477ae-4d26-5d71-9cb3-6c90bb93e491

Democrats’ failed bid to have the Senate subpoena more witnesses and documents in President Trump’s impeachment trial is an “enormous tactical loss” for them, according to “The Five” co-host Jesse Watters.

Watters spoke moments after the Senate voted 51-49 to defeat a resolution asking for more witnesses in what was a largely party-line vote. Two Republicans — Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine — voted with all Democrats in favor of the resolution.

“Democrats just suffered an enormous tactical loss right then on the floor of the Senate. We know how it ends now, this is a strategic retreat by the Democrats,” Watters said Friday. “They are trying to empty their clip but it’s pretty much done.”

GOP BLOCKS WITNESSES IN SENATE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL

A formal vote to convict or acquit Trump is expected to take place Wednesday.

Watters praised the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in shepherding the impeachment process through its Senate trial phase. He said the Democrats’ impeachment bid has now been exposed as a way to protect former Vice President Joe Biden from scrutiny after he bragged on tape about the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor investigating a natural gas company that employed his son in a board position.

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“They tried to knock him [Trump] out at the knees,” Watters said. “It went all the way up to the Senate trial and then we get an acquittal. You have to look at yourself and think this thing backfired because now everybody is talking about ‘Where’s Hunter?’ Everybody understands Joe — Quid Pro Joe is his new nickname, not ‘Sleepy’ anymore — his [campaign] crowd size is microscopic and Bernie Sanders is surging in Iowa. So it did not go as planned.”

He wondered aloud what Democrats could possibly bring about next in the way of legislative or political moves to undermine Trump now that the ultimate Constitutional remedy — impeachment — appears to have failed.

“What are they going to do in a second term?” Watters asked. “They handled the first loss so terribly, what happens with a landslide?”

Westlake Legal Group d2d76124-Video-2 Watters: Impeachment witness vote is 'enormous tactical loss' for Democrats, leaves Biden exposed fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/mitt-romney fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 2a1477ae-4d26-5d71-9cb3-6c90bb93e491   Westlake Legal Group d2d76124-Video-2 Watters: Impeachment witness vote is 'enormous tactical loss' for Democrats, leaves Biden exposed fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/mitt-romney fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 2a1477ae-4d26-5d71-9cb3-6c90bb93e491

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Key players in Ukraine affair hold court at the Trump hotel.

Westlake Legal Group 31dc-live-mitch-facebookJumbo Key players in Ukraine affair hold court at the Trump hotel.

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The Trump International Hotel in Washington is a frequent meeting place for Trump administration officials and associates of the President.Credit…The New York Times

Given the many Ukraine-related dramas that have played out over the last year in the lobby of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, it seems only fitting that key players in the affair were spending money this week at the hotel owned by the president’s family.

President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani was there on Thursday, at his familiar spot in the lobby mezzanine, his nameplate “Rudolph W. Giuliani, Private Office” in front of him.

Lunchtime on Friday featured Robert F. Hyde, a former landscaper from Connecticut and a long-shot Republican candidate for Congress, who was thrust into the spotlight when text messages he sent to an associate of Mr. Giuliani suggested he had the ambassador to Ukraine at the time, Marie L. Yovanovitch, under surveillance.

For the patrons at the hotel’s bar and steak house, there was a certain satisfaction that this chapter of the Trump era was drawing to what — for them — was a predictable conclusion.

“They knew they did not have a case,” said Mr. Hyde, sitting at the bar on Friday, eating a chopped wedge salad and sipping on a Diet Coke and cup of coffee. “There is no treason, no bribery. No abuse of power.”

As the Senate prepared to vote on the question of whether witnesses would be called, the bar at the hotel was buzzing, dozens of patrons with drinks in hand.

“Need popcorn,” one woman at the bar said, as the votes were being counted. “Waste of time and taxpayer money.”

The only remaining question is when Mr. Trump will show up at his hotel to be greeted by his backers that gather here. It is not likely to be this weekend. He flew out Friday afternoon for Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Florida, giving reporters a thumbs up as he left the White House.

Trump Hotel Patrons Relish Impeachment Finale

Jan. 31, 2020

The Senate vote on Friday to block new witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial signaled a crucial turning point, steering toward an all but certain acquittal within days. But immediately after the tally was finished, confusion reigned about the precise timetable for the trial’s endgame.

“Nobody has any idea,” said Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, when asked what would happen next.

Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, called a recess after the vote, but gave no indication how long it would last.

“Senators will now confer among ourselves, with the House managers, and with the president’s counsel to determine next steps as we prepare to conclude the trial in the coming days,” Mr. McConnell said.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York and the majority leader, said he was heading to a meeting with Democrats to figure out how to proceed.

“We’re still trying to figure out how to land the plane,” said Senator John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 3 Republican.

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After a motion to subpoena witnesses failed, the Senate recessed. It is unclear when the chamber will reconvene and the timing of the next steps in the trial.

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Senators Mitt Romney of Utah, left, and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, both Republicans considered critical swing votes, on Friday in the Capitol.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

The Senate voted on Friday to block the consideration of additional witnesses and documents in President Trump’s impeachment trial, as Republicans shut down a push by Democrats to bring in new evidence and cleared the way for a swift acquittal in the coming days.

The nearly party-line vote came after a bitter, four-hour debate between the prosecution and defense over the merits of prolonging the trial by introducing new information that could shed additional light on Mr. Trump’s behavior or moving forward with the all but certain verdict.

The motion to consider new witnesses and evidence failed 49 to 51, with only two Republicans joining every member of the Democratic caucus in favor.

“The facts will come out — in all of their horror, they will come out,” Representative Adam B. Schiff, the lead House manager, warned the senators before the vote. “The witnesses the president is concealing will tell their stories. And we will be asked why we didn’t want to hear that information when we had the chance. What answer shall we give if we do not pursue the truth now?”

Patrick A. Philbin, a deputy White House counsel, urged senators not to submit to unreasonable demands from the Democratic prosecutors, insisting that “the Senate is not here to do the investigatory work that the House didn’t do.

The Republican victory was sealed just moments after the debate was gaveled open when Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, issued a statement saying that a vote for additional witnesses would only extend what she called a “partisan” impeachment, even as she lamented that the Senate trial had not been fair and that Congress had failed its obligation to the country.

Her announcement followed a similar one on Thursday night by Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, who said the Democrats had proved their case that Mr. Trump had withheld military aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rival, calling the inappropriate but not impeachable.

Two Republicans senators — Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine — broke ranks with their party and voted with Democrats in their demand for additional testimony.

Friday’s vote prompted the final stages of the trial, in which senators will render their verdict on whether to remove Mr. Trump from office, which would take a two-thirds majority, or 67 votes.

The final tally is expected to unfold largely along party lines to reject the two articles of impeachment, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

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Claudine Schneider, a Republican who spent 10 years in the House representing Rhode Island, warned on Friday that by barring witnesses from testifying in President Trump’s impeachment trial, Senate Republicans would push the United States “closer than ever to authoritarian one-man rule.”

Ms. Schneider, who runs a group of moderate Republican former members of Congress called Republicans for Integrity, was joined in her call for witnesses by four other Republican former members of Congress: David Durenberger, a former senator from Minnesota, and three retired congressmen, Jim Kolbe of Arizona, David Emery of Maine and Wayne Gilchrest of Maryland.

Mr. Emery, whose home state senator, Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, intends to vote in favor of witnesses, said the founding fathers created the Senate “as a grand arbiter, able to envision the long-term consequences of our actions and measure them against the Constitution and the public interest.”

“So far,” he said, “Republican Senate leaders have failed that test.”

On Thursday, John Warner, a Republican elder statesman and former senator from Virginia, also issued a statement calling on the Senate to allow witnesses.

The Senate slipped into limbo on Friday afternoon, pausing its debate over whether to consider witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial as Republicans and Democrats huddled on the floor apparently negotiating an agreement over how to proceed.

With the Senate in what is known as a “quorum call” — essentially a way of pausing the proceedings while leaders decide what comes next — senators milled around the floor. Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Democrat of Arizona, could be spotted chatting with Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, while Representative Zoe Lofgren, Democrat of California and one of the House impeachment managers, spoke quietly with Democratic senators.

But in the center of the chamber, the focus was on Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, who stood tightly clustered with staff as they appeared to discuss timing for the trial’s next steps.

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Lev Parnas in the Capitol on Wednesday.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

As Senate Republicans appeared poised to block witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial, Lev Parnas, a former associate of Rudolph W. Giuliani who played a key role in the Ukrainian pressure campaign at the center of the proceeding, made a last-ditch bid to testify.

In a letter on Friday to Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, a lawyer for Mr. Parnas outlined an array of evidence that he might offer at the trial.

“Mr. Parnas would testify that at all times he was acting at the direction of Mr. Giuliani, on behalf of his client the president, and that the president and a number of the people in his administration and the G.O.P. were aware of the demands being imposed upon Ukraine,” the lawyer, Joseph A. Bondy, wrote in the letter, which was also sent to Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader.

While the letter did not detail major new revelations, Mr. Bondy hinted at important additions to the timeline of events surrounding the pressure campaign and the effort to remove the American ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch.

The letter also highlighted what Mr. Bondy described as Mr. Parnas’s first-hand knowledge of the events under scrutiny in the impeachment trial. That “personal knowledge,” he wrote, was “corroborated by physical evidence including text messages, phone records, documentary evidence and travel records.”

In particular, Mr. Bondy wrote, Mr. Parnas would testify that he worked alongside a “handful of Republican operatives” to remove Ms. Yovanovitch and unearth damaging information about the Bidens. He then listed a number of senior officials who he said played a role “in this plot,” including the president, Vice President Mike Pence, the former energy secretary Rick Perry, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William P. Barr and Senator Lindsey Graham.

The letter also referred to the pressure the president appeared to be placing on John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser and the witness most sought by Democrats.

The letter capped Mr. Bondy’s weekslong effort to present Mr. Parnas as a potential witness, even as Mr. Parnas, a Soviet-born businessman from Florida and former Trump donor, faces criminal charges in federal court in Manhattan.

While it appeared highly unlikely that Mr. Parnas, or anyone else would be called, Mr. Bondy concluded his letter with a final appeal.

“We urge you to endorse voting in favor of calling witnesses and hearing evidence, so senators can make a fully informed choice in the president’s impeachment inquiry, based upon all the relevant facts,” he wrote.

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Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the lead House manager, rose one final time on Friday to appeal to a Senate that had already essentially made up its mind against him.

Vote for additional witnesses and documents, he implored them, or risk “long lasting and harmful consequences long after this impeachment trial is over.”

Mr. Schiff’s warning to senators was threefold: First, he said, it would set a dangerous precedent for every future impeachment trial that witnesses and evidence were not necessary; second, the facts about Mr. Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine will come out regardless; and third, Americans will see that for the president, there is a double standard of justice.

“The witnesses the president is concealing will tell their stories,” he said. “And we will be asked why we didn’t want to hear that information when we had the chance. What answer shall we give if we do not pursue the truth now?”

Mr. Schiff connected the trial to the enforcement of laws across the country.

“Only Donald Trump out of any defendant in America can insist on a trial without witnesses,” he said. “The importance of a fair trial here is not less than in any courtroom in America. It is greater than in any courtroom in America, because we set the example for America.”

As the Senate marched toward the final phase of President Trump’s impeachment trial, a handful of Republicans coalesced around a common position: Mr. Trump did what he was accused of — pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rival — but should not be removed for it.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly insisted that he did nothing wrong with regard to Ukraine, calling his telephone call with the country’s president “perfect” and insisting that the impeachment inquiry was a “hoax.”

But even as they were poised to acquit him, several Republican senators were rejecting that assertion, saying his actions were wrong and inappropriate — just not grounds for the Senate to oust him.

Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, said Thursday that House Democrats had proved the central allegation at the heart of the case. In a statement, he said it was “inappropriate for the president to ask a foreign leader to investigate his political opponent and to withhold United States aid to encourage that investigation.”

But he added that the Constitution does not give the Senate the power to remove the president from office “simply for actions that are inappropriate.” And in an interview on Friday, he said that the public would not accept the Senate substituting its judgment on Mr. Trump for its own less than 10 months before an election.

On Friday, Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, came to a similar conclusion. He agreed that the president delayed aid to Ukraine and asked a foreign country to investigate a political opponent, calling it “wrong and inappropriate.” Like Mr. Alexander, Mr. Portman said the president’s actions do not rise “to the level of removing a duly-elected president from office.”

For months, Mr. Trump has demanded that his allies deliver nothing less than an absolute defense of his actions, and until now, most Republicans on Capitol Hill have largely toed that line. But as the proceeding neared its conclusion and senators began explaining a historic vote in only the third presidential impeachment trial in history, many were shifting their stance.

Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, told reporters simply that, “Lamar speaks for lots and lots of us.” He did not elaborate.

And Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, said in a statement that even if the president’s actions were wrong, impeachment and removal from office is not warranted.

“For purposes of answering my threshold question, I assumed what is alleged is true,” Mr. Rubio said. “And then I sought to answer the question of whether under these assumptions it would be in the interest of the nation to remove the president.”

He said he concluded it would not be.

“Just because actions meet a standard of impeachment does not mean it is in the best interest of the country to remove a president from office,” Mr. Rubio said.

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“There is no agreement between Leader McConnell and myself,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader.Credit…Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times

Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, said on Friday that he had not said yes to holding a final impeachment vote on Wednesday, as his Republican counterpart, Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, has suggested.

“There is no agreement between Leader McConnell and myself,” Mr. Schumer said. “We have stood for one thing: We do not want this rushed through. We do not want it in the dark of night. Members have an obligation to tell the American people and to tell the people of their states why they are voting.”

Democrats’ ability to extend the trial might be limited, but it is not nonexistent, he added.

“We do have some power in the minority,” Mr. Schumer said. “And we will use it to get things — to prevent things from just being truncated in the dark of night.”

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“In my view, they kind of leave themselves open to a lot of criticism,” John F. Kelly, President Trump’s former chief of staff, said of the Senate.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

John F. Kelly, President Trump’s former chief of staff and secretary of homeland security, said on Friday that the Senate would be known forever as a body that “shirks its responsibilities” if it wraps up the trial of his former boss without hearing witnesses.

Mr. Kelly, breaking even further with the president, said the impeachment proceedings would be only “half a trial” if the senators did not hear testimony from the likes of John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser, who wrote in an unpublished book that Mr. Trump directly conditioned American security aid to politically beneficial investigations.

“In my view, they kind of leave themselves open to a lot of criticism,” Mr. Kelly told NJ Advance Media in an interview tied to an upcoming speech at Drew University. “It seems it was half a trial.”

Mr. Kelly, who already said this week that he believed Mr. Bolton’s account, which the president has denied, pointed to polls showing overwhelming public support for witnesses.

“If I was advising the United States Senate, I would say, ‘If you don’t respond to 75 percent of the American voters and have witnesses, it’s a job only half done,’” he said. “You open yourself up forever as a Senate that shirks its responsibilities.”

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Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, avoided making a determination as to whether the president’s conduct was appropriate.Credit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

As Republican senators announced they would vote to acquit President Trump, they cited a reason divorced from the merits of the president’s conduct, arguing that removing Mr. Trump months away from the presidential election would serve only to deepen the nation’s bitter divisions.

Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, announced on Friday that he would vote to block hearing from additional witnesses and acquit Mr. Trump, though he reiterated that he found some of the president’s actions “wrong and inappropriate.”

“Our country is already too deeply divided and we should be working to heal wounds, not create new ones,” Mr. Portman said in a statement. “It is better to let the people decide.”

Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, in announcing his vote in a lengthy statement on Friday, used similar language, but avoided making a determination as to whether Mr. Trump’s conduct was appropriate.

“Can anyone doubt that at least half of the country would view his removal as illegitimate — as nothing short of a coup d’état?” Mr. Rubio wrote. “It is difficult to conceive of any scheme Putin could undertake that would undermine confidence in our democracy more than removal would.”

Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the lead Democratic House manager, opened by referring to The New York Times’s revelation on Friday that President Trump’s role in the Ukraine pressure campaign began earlier than previously known. Mr. Schiff emphasized that Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, was present when the president delivered that instruction.

“He said all the facts should come out,” Mr. Schiff said of Mr. Cipollone. “Well, here’s a new fact, which indicates that Mr. Cipollone was among those who were in the loop.”

Mr. Schiff called the Times article, which cited an unpublished manuscript by John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser, as “yet another reason why we want to hear from witnesses.” Reports about Mr. Bolton’s unpublished book, Mr. Schiff added, was evidence of the need to call the former aide as a witness.

“Mr. Bolton’s manuscript portrays the most senior White House advisers as early witnesses in the effort that they have sought to distance the president from, including the White House counsel,” he said.

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President Trump speaking at an event in Warren, Mich. on Thursday.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

If the Senate acquits President Trump in the next 24 hours, it will be a political gift for him that couldn’t come at a better time.

On Sunday, the president is scheduled to be interviewed by Sean Hannity of Fox News during the half time of the Super Bowl, one of the biggest platforms in all of television. He would no doubt seize the opportunity to declare vindication in an impeachment inquiry that he has repeatedly called a “hoax” and a “sham.”

A day later, Mr. Trump will cruise to victory — unopposed — in the Iowa Republican caucuses, officially kicking off his re-election bid. While Democrats will describe him as a permanently impeached president, Mr. Trump is likely to use a verdict of not guilty to declare himself cleared of all charges.

On Tuesday evening, Mr. Trump will arrive at the Capitol to deliver his annual State of the Union address. Armed with an acquittal, he will be able to face his Democratic accusers in their own chamber, denouncing their attempts to force him from office in front of millions of viewers.

And six days after that, the president will hold a rally in New Hampshire, offering a preview of the message he will use in his campaign: that the Democrats failed in their attempt to thwart the will of the people with a bogus and unfair investigation and a trial that found he did nothing wrong.

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Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, during a break in the impeachment trial this week.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, has said little during the impeachment trial. And he told reporters briefly on Friday that he would remain silent. But he did offer one comment about Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, who said late Thursday that President Trump’s actions were not impeachable.

“Lamar speaks for lots and lots of us,” Mr. Sasse said. He did not elaborate.

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Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, this week in the Capitol.Credit…Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times

Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, said Friday she would vote against including new witnesses and documents in President Trump’s impeachment trial, likely dealing a fatal blow to Democrats’ attempts to compel new evidence as she lamented that “Congress has failed.”

In a statement released just as the House managers began pleading their case for witnesses, Ms. Murkowski called their impeachment articles too “rushed and flawed” to warrant prolonging the trial. But she also said she had become convinced that the Senate would be unable to deliver a fair trial, echoing a point made repeatedly by Democrats though with different reasoning.

“I carefully considered the need for additional witnesses and documents, to cure the shortcomings of its process, but ultimately decided that I will vote against considering motions to subpoena,” she said.

Ms. Murkowski’s decision is all but certain to clear the way for Republicans, who have been working feverishly to block witnesses from testifying, to bring Mr. Trump’s trial to a swift acquittal, possibly as early as Friday night. She announced it before a four-hour debate and a vote on whether to allow new evidence, scheduled for later Friday.

Ms. Murkowski did not indicate how she would vote on the final articles of impeachment. But she offered an unusually sharp rebuke of the institution in which she serves, appearing to cast blame on both parties and both chambers of Congress for letting excessive partisanship overtake a solemn responsibility, even as she sided with her own party.

“Given the partisan nature of this impeachment from the very beginning and throughout, I have come to the conclusion that there will be no fair trial in the Senate,” she said. “I don’t believe the continuation of this process will change anything.”

“It is sad for me to admit that, as an institution, the Congress has failed,” she added.

Democrats would need four Republicans to join them in the call for additional testimony and documents, which would prolong the trial and inject an element of unpredictability into the proceeding. They suffered a blow on Thursday night when Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee and a critical swing vote, announced that he would stick with his party and vote no.

Mr. Alexander said there was already plenty of evidence proving that the president had withheld military aid from Ukraine to pressure the country for political favors, calling the actions “inappropriate” but not impeachable.

His Republican colleagues, Senators Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine, have said that they will vote in favor of seeking testimony from additional witnesses, extending the trial.

Ms. Murkowski also appeared to refer to the possibility the witness vote could have ended in a tie if she had voted yes. In that case, Democrats had been urging Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. to step in to break the tie. Ms. Murkowski said that would have been unacceptable.

“I will not stand for nor support that effort,” she said. “We have already degraded this institution for partisan political benefit, and I will not enable those who wish to pull down another.”

“We are sadly at a low point of division in this country,” she added.

With Ms. Murkowski’s decision, the Senate may be able to proceed to a final vote on each article of impeachment as soon as late Friday. The final votes could also slip into Saturday or next week if senators demand a deliberation period, akin to what they did before rendering a verdict in the 1999 impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton.

Either way, Mr. Trump is headed to an all but certain acquittal in a trial where it would take a two-thirds majority — 67 senators — to convict. The only real question remains if any senators of either party will break ranks, handing him a bipartisan verdict.

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“I need to be home with my wife at this time,” Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, said on Twitter.Credit…T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and one of the seven House impeachment managers, said he would miss the proceedings on Friday to be home with his wife, who has pancreatic cancer.

“I need to be home with my wife at this time,” Mr. Nadler said on Twitter. “We have many decisions to make as a family. I have every faith in my colleagues and hope the Senate will do what is right.”

The Senate’s impeachment trial of President Trump could continue into next week under a plan being discussed on Friday by Republican officials.

Though it has not been completed and may merely be an effort to nudge weary senators toward a speedier conclusion, the plan would have the Senate leave town Friday night after a vote on whether to consider additional witnesses and evidence.

The trial would then reconvene on Monday for closing arguments by the House managers and the president’s defense team and possible senatorial deliberations, according to the officials, who were not authorized to speak publicly. With the potential parliamentary protests by Democrats in the offing, as well, that would set up a final vote on each article of impeachment by late Monday, Tuesday or even Wednesday.

Republicans had previously homed in on concluding the trial on Saturday. That would allow Mr. Trump to play up his acquittal before the Super Bowl on Sunday, the Iowa caucus on Monday and at his State of the Union Address on Tuesday.

It is unclear if the White House would be willing to sign on to the plan, or if it would have a say. Some Democrats have their own reason to push for a speedier conclusion: four of them are competing in Monday’s Iowa caucuses.

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Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, said on Thursday that he would not vote to call witnesses.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, who announced Thursday he would not support new witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Trump, said on Friday that he did not think the American public would accept Mr. Trump’s ouster if the Senate removed him.

With the presidential primary process beginning on Monday with the Iowa caucuses, Mr. Alexander — whose position makes it likely that Senate Republicans be able to bring the trial to a close quickly with no additional evidence — said he feared that convicting Mr. Trump and barring him from future office would inflame the country.

“The Senate reflects the country, and the country is as divided as it has been for a long time,” said Mr. Alexander during an interview in his Capitol office. “For the Senate to tear up the ballots in this election and say President Trump couldn’t be on it, the country probably wouldn’t accept that. It would just pour gasoline on cultural fires that are burning out there.”

Mr. Alexander said that he determined during the trial that Mr. Trump had acted inappropriately in pushing the president of Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., but that it did not merit throwing the president out of office.

“If you are persuaded that he did it, why do you need more witnesses?” he asked. “If you’ve got nine witnesses who say he left the scene of a crime or he left the scene of an accident, you don’t need a 10th. I don’t need more evidence to decide if he did it.”

The start of the primary races next week seemed to figure prominently into Mr. Alexander’s thinking.

“The country is not going to accept being told that they can’t elect the president they want to elect in the week the election starts by a majority for a merely inappropriate telephone call or action,” he said. “They are not going to buy it and they shouldn’t.”

“I’m saying that you don’t apply capital punishment for every offense, and removing him from office the same week the election starts would be applying capital offense to something that is simply inappropriate,” he said.

Mr. Alexander said he expected that voters would weigh Mr. Trump’s conduct regarding Ukraine along with other elements of his record.

“Whatever you think of his behavior, with the terrific economy, with conservative judges, with fewer regulations, you add in there an inappropriate call with the president of Ukraine and you decide if your prefer him or Elizabeth Warren,” he said, referring to the Massachusetts senator who is a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination.

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John R. Bolton, President Trump’s former national security adviser.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

The newest revelations from the book by President Trump’s former national security adviser, John R. Bolton, put top aides in the room when Mr. Trump asked Mr. Bolton to help with his pressure campaign on Ukraine.

Mr. Trump gave the instruction, Mr. Bolton wrote, in the Oval Office in early May and in front of the acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani and the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, who is now leading the president’s impeachment defense.

The account supports testimony from witnesses who testified in the House impeachment inquiry, including Gordon D. Sondland, who said that “everyone was in the loop.”

Mr. Giuliani called Mr. Bolton’s account “categorically untrue.” Neither Mr. Bolton nor a representative for Mr. Mulvaney responded to requests for comment. A White House spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.

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Senator Kamala Harris, along with Senators Chuck Schumer and Patty Murray, at a news conference on Friday at the Capitol.Credit…Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times

Senate Democrats said on Friday that they would push for open deliberations in President Trump’s impeachment trial, although Senate precedent dictates that debate is conducted in private.

“The American people should hear what every senator thinks and why they are voting the way they are voting, and we will do what we can to make sure that happens,” Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, told reporters Friday morning.

Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, said he was introducing a motion to require open debate. But Democrats would need a majority of the Senate to adopt such a motion, and it is unclear whether Republicans would agree.

Mr. Schumer said he would meet with his caucus to discuss how to proceed after Friday’s vote on whether to hear witnesses. Democrats have all but conceded that Republicans have the 51 votes they need to block witnesses at the trial.

Mr. Schumer singled out the pivotal Republican — Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who announced Thursday night that he would vote no on witnesses.

While Mr. Alexander reached “the wrong conclusion,” Mr. Schumer said, he “said out loud what I think most Republicans believe in private”: that Mr. Trump “did what he was accused of” and sought the “corruption of a national election.”

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Every day outside the Capitol, there have been a handful of protesters, including a group of five or six that stood in 30-degree weather one evening as midnight neared to yell pleas for witnesses and documents at departing cars.

But on Friday, after Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, announced that he would not support new evidence, the largest group yet — of about 10 — stood outside with a variety of posters, including ones that read, “GOP Put Country Before Party” and “GOP: Serve Truth. Not Your Own Interests.”

Senators’ offices — particularly Republicans — have been inundated with phone calls urging for votes: either on acquittal or removal, to defend the president and deliver him a swift end to the trial or to call for more witnesses and subpoenas.

Asked about call volume, the office of Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine and a closely watched swing vote, said that about one in every 25 calls was targeted, profane or threatening.

“If you don’t have the guts and the integrity, I sure hope you didn’t breed,” one person said in a voice mail message provided by the office. “I sure hope you don’t have children.”

Ms. Collins said late Thursday said she would support subpoenaing witnesses and documents.

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Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, arriving at the Capitol on Friday.Credit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Nearly all Republican senators are expected to oppose hearing from new witnesses like John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser. And they see plenty of reasons to do so.

A vote to summon witnesses for the Senate trial could prolong the proceeding and inject an element of uncertainty, while the defeat of the effort would pave the way for the quick acquittal eagerly awaited by Mr. Trump and his allies in Congress.

Among the arguments the Republicans are using to justify their stance are that hearing from witnesses was the House’s job; that the House did not try hard enough to secure testimony; that House managers already say they have proved their case; and there would be no new information.

The Fight Over Witnesses

President Trump on Friday suggested there was discord among two House impeachment managers, based on the end of the Senate trial’s question and answer session Thursday night when two of the managers appeared to want to answer the same question.

“They are fighting big time!” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter.

The last question of the night came from Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, who asked that the House impeachment managers respond to a recent answer from Mr. Trump’s defense team.

Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York quickly stood and approached the lectern to deliver a response. Representative Adam B. Schiff, the lead House manager, tried to prevent Mr. Nadler from answering the question, standing up and quietly saying, “Jerry. Jerry. Jerry.”

Unfazed, Mr. Nadler, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, started speaking.

The dynamics between Mr. Nadler and Mr. Schiff have been tense at times during the Senate trial.

At one point last week, Mr. Schiff stepped in to respond to a reporter’s question at a news conference, cutting Mr. Nadler off.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine in Kyiv on Friday.Credit…Pool photo by Kevin Lamarque

KYIV, Ukraine — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that the Trump administration was committed to supporting Ukraine in its defense against aggression by Russia, though he did not offer President Volodymyr Zelensky the one thing he has sought since last May: an invitation to meet President Trump at the White House.

Mr. Pompeo’s visit was aimed at calming unease among Ukrainian officials about the relationship between Washington and Kyiv, which has been thrust into the spotlight because of the impeachment of Mr. Trump.

An invitation to meet Mr. Trump at the White House would be an important signal to Russia of American support for Ukraine. Mr. Pompeo’s message that Mr. Trump had no immediate plans to receive Mr. Zelensky at the White House was a blow to the Ukrainian president’s national security efforts.

Ukrainian officials are angry that the Americans have granted Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, two visits with Mr. Trump in the White House, most recently in December.

In renewing his request for a meeting Friday, Mr. Zelensky said, “If there is anything we can negotiate and discuss, and if I can bring something back home, I am ready to go straight away.”

Friday’s session could be definitive, likely capped by a vote on whether to consider new witnesses and evidence. But after that vote, which Republicans are confident will be rejected, things in President Trump’s impeachment trial could become a little messy. Nicholas Fandos, a congressional correspondent for The New York Times, walked me through what to expect.

The trial will resume at 1 p.m., but with a new shape: There will be four hours of debate, split between the House managers and Mr. Trump’s lawyers, on the question of witnesses. We’ll most likely hear Adam Schiff talking one more time about why they need to hear from John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser, and others. The president’s lawyers will say that if you go down that path, it will open up a Pandora’s box and keep the trial going for weeks more.

After the conclusion of that debate, something unusual could happen: Senators could move into a private deliberation, where they close the doors, kick reporters out of the Senate press gallery and turn off cameras. But that’s unlikely, mostly because we already know how Republicans will vote.

Then, in the late afternoon or early evening, the vote on whether to consider witnesses and documents will take place. Remember: It’s a vote about whether they even want to allow the Senate to consider calling witnesses, not a vote on the witnesses themselves. If the vote fails, the trial is, for all intents and purposes, heading toward a conclusion.

If the Senate does vote to consider witnesses — a big “if,” considering we pretty much know the votes — then we’ll be in an uncertain period where the two legal teams can offer motions on specific people and documents, and each one will get a vote. It would open up a free-for-all in which Democrats could keep demanding votes. The president’s lawyers could demand votes, too, on witnesses like Hunter Biden.

Regardless of how the vote turns out, Senate leaders will likely break to discuss what to do next.

The dinnertime hours could be when things get really messy. The next big step, assuming the witness motion fails, is a vote on each of the impeachment articles. But there are a lot of high jinks Senate Democrats could pull between the witness vote and the verdict, including forcing a bunch of procedural votes. But it’s hard to say exactly what they could do, because they’re still figuring that out. The session could go deep into the night.

If Republicans had their choice, they would vote to acquit Mr. Trump by the end of the night. But that may be difficult. Some senators may want, as they did during the Clinton impeachment, to deliberate a while about final votes, which are expected as early as Saturday.

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Senator Mitt Romney’s ability to recruit Republican colleagues to his position has been minimal at best.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, is the rare Senate Republican — actually the lone Senate Republican until late Thursday — vocally pushing for witnesses to be called in President Trump’s impeachment trial. He is also the only Senate Republican who is seen as a possible vote to convict the president, an added distinction since Mr. Trump got every House Republican to fall in line.

All of which places upon Mr. Romney a level of curiosity that goes beyond the quasi-celebrity treatment he already receives as the last pre-Trump standard-bearer of a Republican Party that feels about 80 years removed from the party that nominated him eight years ago.

At least among Democrats lately, Mr. Romney has also become a magnet for nostalgia. “He is a decent, honorable man,” former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said in a recent interview. Mr. Biden conceded that it was unlikely that he would be running for president right now if it were Mr. Romney seeking re-election, not Mr. Trump.

“I think this is Senator Romney’s moment to shine,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar, another Democratic presidential candidate who was in Washington for the impeachment trial. She was referring specifically to Mr. Romney’s support for calling witnesses.

“Hopefully he can bring some people with him,” Ms. Klobuchar said. She meant Republicans, a prospect that was looking more and more unlikely. By most indications, Mr. Romney’s ability to recruit Republican colleagues to his position has been minimal at best. After the Senate adjourned Thursday night, Senator Susan Collins of Maine said she would vote in favor of considering additional witnesses and documents. But Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee announced he would vote no.

The president has not been shy about heaping scorn upon Mr. Romney. It has created a situation in which some of Mr. Romney’s colleagues have taken their own shots at him, no doubt as a way to prove allegiance to their audience of one in the White House.

Before leaving the sanctuary of his hideaway and heading back to the trial, Mr. Romney grew solemn. “I think of this as an inflection point, politically in our country,” he said. “It’s a constitutional issue. I feel a sense of deep responsibility to abide by the Constitution, to determine — absent the pulls from the right and the pulls from the left — what is the right thing to do?”

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7:45 a.m. Jan. 31, 2020

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On their last day of questioning in the impeachment trial of President Trump, senators put Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. in the middle of the fray.Credit…Image by Doug Mills/The New York Times

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The vote on Friday on whether to call witnesses like John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser, is likely to determine the remainder of the trial.Credit…T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

The impeachment trial was upended this week by revelations from John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser, that contradict much of President Trump’s defense about freezing aid to Ukraine. The new information, laid out in a manuscript of Mr. Bolton’s coming book, left Republican senators scrambling to assess what else Mr. Bolton might disclose.

For a time, it looked as if the trajectory of the trial could shift. By midweek, Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, privately acknowledged that he was uncertain whether he had enough votes to block Democrats from calling witnesses like Mr. Bolton to testify.

But by Thursday, Senate Republicans once again seemed confident that they could prevail in voting down a motion to introduce new witnesses, and potentially fast-track a vote on whether to remove Mr. Trump from office. That seemed even more certain after Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican whose vote is critical for Democrats, said he would vote against calling witnesses.

Representative Adam B. Schiff, the lead House manager, on Thursday worked to sell Republicans on a compromise in which new witnesses could be deposed but their collective testimony would be limited to one week. At the same time, Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, suggested that he was examining ways to stall a final vote to acquit the president, most likely by resorting to procedural tactics.

The vote over witnesses on Friday is likely to determine the remainder of the trial. After a tense week in which it seemed as if lawmakers could be swayed to compel witnesses, each senator will have to make a final decision after debate.

What we’re expecting to see:
The Senate will convene for a highly anticipated debate over whether to subpoena new witnesses and seek additional documents from the Trump administration that could shed more light on the central questions in the impeachment inquiry.

When we’re likely to see it:
The trial will reconvene at 1 p.m. Eastern. Senate rules dictate that there will first be a four-hour debate over new witnesses and documents, followed by a vote. Each side will have two hours.

How to follow it:
The New York Times’s congressional and White House teams will be following all of the developments in Washington and will be streaming the trial live on this page. Stay with us.

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