With the Senate voting to open the door to witness and document subpoenas, the plans for former President Trump’s impeachment trial have been thrown into chaos.
After House managers said that they would like to depose as a witness Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), the Senate voted 55-45 to move forward with considering that and any other witness requests.
The dramatic turn of events came after Herrera Beutler on Friday evening reiterated an account she previously had given of a call between Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy during the riot. McCarthy had told Herrera Beulter and others that he and Trump got into a shouting match when McCarthy begged Trump to call off the rioters that day, according to a CNN report based on the accounts of several Republican lawmakers.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the leader of the House impeachment managers, announced at the start of Saturday’s proceedings that the House would like to depose Herrera Beutler and any other witnesses to that account who “come forward.” Trump attorney Michael van der Veen raged about the request, threatening to seek subpoenas for 100 witnesses if House managers got one.
Five Republicans joined the Senate’s 50 Democrats in voting to open the floor for both sides to make their requests for witnesses and documents. The five Republicans were Sens. Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Mitt Romney (UT), Ben Sasse (NE) and Lindsey Graham (SC)— with Graham changing his no vote to yes once it was clear that the four other Republicans were joining the Democrats.