WASHINGTON: The Latest on former President Donald Trump’s second Senate impeachment trial (all times local):
The closing phase of Donald Trumps impeachment trial is putting new scrutiny on what actions the former president took when his supporters overwhelmed police and stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. It comes as Democrats consider whether to force a debate on calling witnesses for the trial, which would require a majority vote of the Senate.
Democrats argue Trump incited the riot and then refused to stop it, putting Vice President Mike Pence in danger. Pence was in the Capitol presiding over the certification of President Joe Bidens election victory and was rushed to safety as the Capitol was invaded.
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, who was one of 10 Republicans to vote for Trumps impeachment in the House, said in a statement late Friday Trump rebuffed a plea from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to call off the rioters on Jan. 6. She said McCarthy had relayed the conversation to her.
Another Republican, Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, said he told Trump during a call on Jan. 6 that Pence was being evacuated from the Senate.
Several Republicans who are seen as wavering on whether to convict Trump pressed Trumps lawyers during questioning to account for Trumps actions on Jan. 6.
One of Trumps lawyers, Michael van der Veen, responded to those questions by saying that at no point was the president informed of any danger to Pence.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island, said the Senate should suspend the trial to question McCarthy and Tuberville under oath, and to seek records from the Secret Service.
What did Trump know, and when did he know it? Whitehouse tweeted.