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Senate vote on calling witnesses fails, ushering in trial endgame

Image: Senate Impeachment Trial Of President Trump Continues
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell arrives at the U.S. Capitol as the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump continues on Jan. 31, 2020. Copyright Mario Tama Getty Images
Copyright Mario Tama Getty Images
By Dartunorro Clark with NBC News Politics
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Democrats has pressed to hear testimony from witnesses like ex-national security adviser John Bolton.

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The Senate voted not to call witnesses in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial Friday afternoon, ushering in the final phase of the proceedings, with a vote to acquit or convict Trump possibly coming as late as Wednesday.

The vote was 49 to 51.

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called the failed motion to call witnesses "a grand tragedy."

"No witnesses, no documents in an impeachment trial is a perfidy. It is a grand tragedy. One of the worst tragedies that the Senate has overcome. America will remember this day, unfortunately, where the Senate did not live up to its responsibilities," Schumer said on MSNBC, "where the Senate turned away from truth and went along with a sham trial."

"It's a tragedy on a very large scale," he added.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., told MSNBC it "was a terrible, terrible vote for the country. "

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Democrats sought testimony from ex-national security adviser John Bolton on Trump's alleged conditioning of Ukraine aid on investigations into Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden. But they failed to get a majority to back their efforts after Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, two key Republican swing votes, announced that they would not back the move.

This is a breaking news story, please check back for updates.

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