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McConnell tells senators he doesn’t yet have votes to block witnesses in Trump impeachment trial


<b>McConnell tells senators he doesn’t yet have votes to block witnesses in Trump impeachment trial</b>The White House urged a quick acquittal, arguing that convicting Trump ‘would cause serious and lasting damage to the people of the United States and to our great country.’
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In a closed-door meeting after closing remarks, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told colleagues he doesn’t have the votes to block witnesses, according to people familiar with his remarks who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe them. Just four GOP senators would have to join Democrats to produce the majority needed to call witnesses --- an outcome McConnell has sought to avoid since it could invite new controversy and draw out the divisive proceedings. An initial vote to allow witnesses, expected Friday, does not ensure witnesses would actually be called, since the Senate would have to subsequently hold separate votes on summoning each individual witness. And Trump’s ultimate acquittal still remains all but assured, since a two-thirds vote in the GOP-run Senate would be required to remove him.

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