Democrats were unable to convince enough Republicans to vote against their party’s majority and allow witnesses to be called. Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) both stayed in line to the end.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the decision a “tragedy on a very large scale” following the vote. “No witnesses, no documents in an impeachment trial is a perfidy. It is a grand tragedy.” Schumer added that this is “where the Senate turned away from truth and went along with a sham trial.”
.@SenSchumer "To not allow… no witnesses, no documents, in an impeachment trial is a perfidy. It's a grand tragedy. One of the worst tragedies that the Senate has overcome. America will remember this day unfortunately." pic.twitter.com/MtmpyTCGut
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 31, 2020
As the voting took place, news was circulating of a New York Times report on former national security advisor John Bolton’s forthcoming book. In a leaked manuscript, Bolton, who was expected to testify if witnesses were allowed, wrote that Trump asked him to convince Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky to meet with Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, in order to convince him to announce an investigation into his political opponent, former vice president Joe Biden. Trump’s request, according to Bolton, took place in May 2019, two months before the phone call to Zelensky for which he was impeached.
With no impending witness testimony, the trial will soon wrap up. Closing arguments are expected to begin Monday, with a final vote and likely acquittal coming Wednesday.