Republican senators said tonight that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had no choice but to cut the deal for the Wednesday acquittal vote.
That's because, the senators said, Democrats could have used their power under the rules to drag it out past the State of the Union. And Democrats had no desire to let Trump be cleared by the time of the Tuesday SOTU as the White House wanted, according to senators from both parties.
So they decided to cut the deal, spare themselves late nights and a weekend session, and agree to have the vote on Wednesday.
"Democrats were willing to use any number of dilatory tactics, many of which would probably carry us into next week," Sen. John Thune said, adding that it could delay the vote until "potentially" beyond the State of the Union if Democrats used their "full arsenal of tools."
McConnell spoke by phone with President Trump before introducing the resolution that calls for the Wednesday vote, according to two people familiar with the call.
“Leader McConnell called President Trump before he introduced the resolution. They discussed the details and the President signed off," a source familiar with the call said.