Trump acquitted at impeachment trial

By Veronica Rocha, Mike Hayes, Meg Wagner and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 10:03 PM ET, Thu February 6, 2020
8 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
12:15 p.m. ET, February 5, 2020

House Democrats will "likely" subpoena John Bolton, Nadler says

From CNN's Manu Raju

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said House Democrats will “likely” subpoena President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton and continue with more investigations after today's historic impeachment vote.

“I think it’s likely yes,” he told CNN of issuing a Bolton subpoena.

Asked what they will look at, Nadler said, “We are talking about everything,” referring to continuing all the probes that have been launched since last year.

Asked if he’s concerned about the political blowback, here's how Nadler responded:

“First of all I think when you have a lawless president, you have to bring that to the fore and you have to spotlight that. You have to protect the constitution, whatever the political consequences. Second of all, no, as more and more lawlessness comes out, I presume the public will understand that.”

More on Bolton: He is writing a book about his time in the White House and told the US Senate he would be willing to testify in Trump's impeachment trial if asked. A majority of senators in the Republican-controlled body voted against hearing any new testimony.

Watch here:

10:20 a.m. ET, February 5, 2020

Republican senator says he hopes Democrats "accept the results" of today's vote

Zach Gibson/Getty Images
Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, said he is “confident in saying that President Trump should be acquitted and not removed from office.”

Speaking from the Senate floor today, he called the impeachment “politically motivated” and said it sets a “dangerous precedent” for the future. Cornyn went on to say that impeachment “cannot become the Hail Mary pass of a party.”

Cornyn said he will not vote to convict the President later today. He said he hopes that Democrats will “accept the results” of today’s vote and not as some have suggested “open a second impeachment inquiry.”

10:39 a.m. ET, February 5, 2020

Sen. Joe Manchin still won’t say how he'll vote today

From CNN's Lauren Fox and Ellie Kaufman 

MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Asked today how he'll vote in the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump, Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia, responded “4 o'clock” three times on his way into a committee hearing.

He went on to say that it’s a very serious decision. Manchin said he’s not talking to fellow moderate Democrats and instead is coming to his own conclusion.

“It’s been very difficult for me,” he said.

Manchin is one of the senators being eyed to cross party lines. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah is the only Republican vote that's still in question, while Democratic Sens. Doug Jones of Alabama and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona also haven't said how they are voting.

9:50 a.m. ET, February 5, 2020

Democratic senator says what Trump did was "far worse than Watergate"

Zach Gibson/Getty Images
Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat from Oregon, said that President Trump ran a “corrupt conspiracy” and an “assault on the Constitution” that was “far worse than Watergate.”

“Watergate was about a break-in to spy on the Democratic National Committee,” Merkley said. “Bad, yes, wrong, definitely. But Watergate didn’t involve soliciting foreign interference to destroy the integrity of an election.”

He continued: “Watergate did not involve an across the board blockade of access by congress witnesses and documents.”

Merkley said that if the senators thought Nixon should be removed from office “you have no choice” other than to vote to remove Trump from office.

“But he will not be removed,” Merkley said.

He said the Senate failed to conduct a full and fair trial.

9:38 a.m. ET, February 5, 2020

Senators are now speaking on the floor

The Senate floor just opened up.

Senators will get the chance today to speak for up to 10 minutes. Later, they'll hold the final vote in the impeachment trial.

9:31 a.m. ET, February 5, 2020

House manager says it's "disappointing" senators gave speeches rather than listen to witnesses

From CNN's Rachel Bowman

Senate TV via Getty Images
Senate TV via Getty Images

While senators take the floor to explain how they reached their decision to vote in the impeachment trial, House manager Zoe Lofgren expressed dissatisfaction with their decision to talk rather than listen.

"Honestly, it's disappointing they found time for each one of them to give a speech but not time to listen to a relevant witness which would have taken far less time," said Lofgren in an interview on CNN's New Day.

She also showed disappointment with senators who justified their vote to acquit by claiming President Trump has learned from his mistake.

"If we say this behavior can go on, unsanctioned, then it does change the nature of the three branches of government, the power that the presidency has as compared to the legislative branch. And that's not necessarily good news for the future of the country," Lofgren said.

9:13 a.m. ET, February 5, 2020

Senators will continue to give speeches to explain their votes

Since closing arguments ended on Monday, a steady stream of senators have gone to the Senate floor to explain their votes. The fence-sitting senators are expected to do the same today.

Two key GOP senators — Alaska's Lisa Murkowski and Maine's Susan Collins — announced yesterday that they plan to vote to acquit President Trump on the articles.

Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, said Trump “will be acquitted” when the Senate votes.

Who to watch: While the outcome of the final vote isn't in doubt, there are still some senators being eyed to cross party lines. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah is the only Republican vote that's still in question, while Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Doug Jones of Alabama and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona also haven't said how they are voting.

8:59 a.m. ET, February 5, 2020

The Senate will hold the final impeachment vote today

From CNN's Jeremy Herb

The Senate is expected to hold the final vote today in the impeachment trial of President Trump.

The Senate will vote at 4 p.m. ET on the verdict for two articles of impeachment, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The outcome is a forgone conclusion: Senate Republicans have a 53-47 majority in the chamber, and so far no Republicans have said they will vote to remove the President from office. A two-thirds majority is required for conviction.

Still, the acquittal vote will mark the end of historic and whirlwind four-month impeachment proceedings that began in September with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announcing the inquiry into the President amid allegations he had withheld US security aid while pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. The House made Trump the third President to be impeached in December by passing the two articles of impeachment without Republican votes.

The final Senate vote on the impeachment verdict comes after a bitter fight over the trial, which began two weeks ago. Senate Democrats and the House impeachment managers pushed for the Senate to hear from witnesses in the trial, including former national security adviser John Bolton, whose draft book manuscript alleged that the President had told him he conditioned the US aid to Ukraine on investigations into Democrats.

But Senate Republicans rejected the need for witnesses, defeating a motion to call witnesses 49-51