The US Senate will now have to wait until Wednesday to vote to acquit President Trump after an expected vote on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning has been push all the way to Wednesday.
The Hill reports Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the delay shortly after the legislative chamber voted against hearing additional witnesses.
Republican Senator Roy Blunt similarly told the Hill that the impeachment trial will conclude on Wednesday.
According to the report, Republican Senator Mike Braun left a Senate GOP conference when he told a group of reporters that a vote will be held on Monday to schedule the Wednesday acquittal vote.
“There was some feverish discussion,” Braun said, a clear reference to reservations by some more moderate GOP Senators including Utah Senator Mitt Romney, Maine Senator Susan Collins, Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander and Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski.
Collins, who voted with her Democratic colleagues to hear from more witnesses, wanted more time to think before the acquittal vote, the Western Journal reports.
Murkowski, who voted with the Republican majority against hearing from additional witnesses, released a statement saying she was disappointed in the entire legislative body.
“A fair trial would have been one where we could have remedied the defects that came out of the House. I think we got to a point where you just realize that [it] would never be sufficient to meet the demands of those who were seeking the results they wanted,” she said per the report.
“We started with a flawed product. I’m at that point where I’m frustrated and disappointed — angry at all sides,” Murkowski added.
In the days leading up to the final vote, Senators will have a chance to take to the Senate floor to make public their thoughts and views on the impeachment process as per a resolution agreed upon on Friday evening.
“We’re going to get through hopefully a few amendment votes tonight and then get a resolution that would take us to a landing spot in the middle of next week,” Senate Majority Whip John Thune said per Politico. “A lot of folks want to address the subject so that gives them a chance on Monday, Tuesday, and part of Wednesday to do that.”
Politico also reports President Trump’s legal team supported delaying the final vote:
Senate Republicans suggested scheduling concerns related to the Iowa caucuses on Monday and Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday were behind the possible delay in ending the proceedings. GOP senators spent about an hour hashing out the next steps during their Friday lunch.
White House officials also wanted more time to prepare their closing arguments in the case, said several sources close to the issue. And administration officials said the ongoing impeachment trial wouldn’t hamper Trump’s ability to deliver the State of the Union address.
“We do not believe that that schedule interferes with his ability to deliver a strong and confident State of the Union message in the House of Representatives to the country,” White House Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland said.
The Hill adds:
The Senate will hear closing arguments from the House impeachment managers and Trump’s defense team on Monday with both sides getting two hours each, according to the resolution.
The Senate would then adjourn the impeachment trial until 4 p.m. on Wednesday when they would move to final votes on the articles of impeachment.
As part of the agreement the Senate will not have closed-door deliberations, according to Blunt. Instead, senators will be able to give public speeches on the Senate floor on Monday through Wednesday to explain their positions, something members in both sides had privately requested.
The technicality will give Chief Justice John Roberts a break from presiding over the Senate, and, unlike the impeachment trial, senators will not have to stay in their seats for hours.