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Senate will vote on verdict in Donald Trump's impeachment trial


The third Senate impeachment trial of a sitting President in US history will come to an end Wednesday with a vote that's expected to acquit Donald 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.

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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. They argued that the House should have called the witnesses it wanted before impeaching the President and that voting for witnesses could have sparked executive privilege concerns that extended the trial indefinitely. Many Republicans, including Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, a key swing vote, said the House had proved its case that the President had tied the US aid to investigations. But Alexander and other Republicans argued that the conduct wasn't impeachable.


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.


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

In his closing argument Monday, lead House impeachment manager Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California urged Republicans to consider their place in history with their votes.

The President's lawyers responded that the House had failed to charge the President with a crime and rushed the impeachment process. CNN
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