Senate rejects witnesses in impeachment trial, final vote set for Wednesday


President Donald Trump speaking Jan. 30 at Drake University’s Knapp Center in Des Moines. Trump discussed the new USMCA trade agreement and hit out at his potential Democratic rivals.

Jake Webster

The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump is reaching its conclusion, following a floor vote against allowing new witnesses.

“There is no need for the Senate to re-open the investigation which the House Democratic majority chose to conclude and which the Managers themselves continue to describe as ‘overwhelming’ and ‘beyond any doubt,’” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a statement. “Never in Senate history has this body paused an impeachment trial to pursue additional witnesses with unresolved questions of executive privilege that would require protracted litigation. We have no interest in establishing such a new precedent, particularly for individuals whom the House expressly chose not to pursue.”

Both of Iowa’s senators, Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. Joni Ernst, voted against allowing witnesses in the trial.

The vote to allow new witnesses to testify failed with 49 yes votes and 51 no votes. All 47 Democratic senators were joined by two Republican senators in voting yes. Democrats had hoped to hear testimony from Trump’s former National Security Adviser John Bolton.

The New York Times reported in a book Bolton is set to publish in several weeks, he wrote Trump ordered him to pressure Ukrainian officials to release damaging information about the president’s Democratic rivals, the basis of the abuse of power charge that is one of the articles Trump was impeached on.

Of Iowa’s four members of the U.S. House of Representatives, all three Democrats voted in December to impeach Donald Trump on the abuse of power charge and obstruction of Congress. The lone Republican, Rep. Steve King, voted against both charges.

The impeachment trial is scheduled to continue through next Wednesday, when there will be a vote whether to acquit or convict Trump, according to a resolution McConnell introduced in the Senate. A two-thirds majority vote is necessary for conviction on either charge.