WASHINGTON (CBS News) — Restless Senators are getting their first chance to pose questions to House managers and President Trump’s legal team as the impeachment trial enters a new stage.
Senators have 16 hours over the next two days to submit written questions to be read aloud by Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the trial. Lawmakers were eager to be more active participants in the proceedings after sitting for six days of presentations by both sides.
The Q&A phase comes as Republican senators search for votes to block new witnesses. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told colleagues on Tuesday that Republicans don’t yet have the votes to prevent consideration of new testimony, but a handful of lawmakers remain undecided and want to see how the Q&A portion of the trial plays out.
Democrats would need four Republican senators to join them in voting to allow motions to compel testimony and documents, a question that is expected be put to a vote on Friday. Reports about revelations by former national security adviserin an upcoming book have increased pressure on senators to hear from new witnesses.