Senate could acquit president Friday

Top moments from Senate trial

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WASHINGTON – Friday is shaping up to be judgment day for President Donald Trump.

The GOP-controlled Senate could wrap up the impeachment trial for Trump and acquit him, or decide to prolong the proceedings – possibly for weeks – by calling witnesses to testify. That would postpone a final vote on whether to remove him from office.

Thursday ended with the second round of questions being asked but with no certainty to how Senators would vote on adding witnesses. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, and other GOP leaders have balked at the idea of more witnesses, notably John Bolton. In his forthcoming book, Trump’s former national security adviser writes that the president told him to withhold military aid to Ukraine until Ukraine announced political investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

Defense line:Trump lawyer Dershowitz argues president can’t be impeached for an act he thinks will help his reelection

Democrats, who control 47 of the chamber’s 100 seats, have been trying to convince at least four Republican senators to join them in demanding Bolton and other administration witnesses appear to discuss the president’s conduct regarding Ukraine.

If Democrats fail, the third impeachment of a president in U.S. history will end like the previous two.

Chief Justice John Roberts presided Thursday over the second day of senators' questions in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. Come Friday, he may be called upon to vote or issue important rulings.

The House on Dec. 18 impeached Trump on two articles – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – after hearings by the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees into whether he tried to leverage the aid to Ukraine in exchange for digging up dirt on the Bidens.

The Senate trial began Jan. 21 with House Democratic lawmakers acting as prosecutors laying out the case against Trump over three days. Republicans then began their defense on Saturday and wrapped up Tuesday. As required by Senate rules, both sides were given a chance to pose follow-up questions on Wednesday and Thursday.

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