What to Watch For in the Impeachment Trial on Saturday

The Senate is expected to plunge into the final hours of impeachment proceedings on Saturday after an exceptionally rapid trial that, if concluded later in the day, will have played out over just five days.

After Democratic House impeachment managers laid out their case earlier in the week, lawyers representing former President Donald J. Trump finished their presentation on Friday in slightly more than three hours, using less than a quarter of the 16 hours available to them.

Mr. Trump’s legal team offered a whirlwind defense, looking to dismiss the case against the former president while repeating a litany of complaints Mr. Trump himself has often made about his Democratic opponents and the news media, many of which were misleading or false.

The prosecution and the defense then fielded 28 questions from senators.

With the bulk of the trial complete, House managers and Mr. Trump’s lawyers will each have up to two hours to make their closing arguments on Saturday. Senators could move to hold an up-or-down vote on whether to convict the former president almost immediately after, though a few procedural surprises are still possible.

The Senate is set to reconvene at 10 a.m.

There is still a remote possibility that House managers could request a debate and vote to call witnesses before closing arguments begin.

On Friday, Mr. Trump’s lawyers repeatedly derided the Democrats’ case as a “snap impeachment,” criticizing lawmakers for not conducting a more complete investigation of what happened on Jan. 6 and Mr. Trump’s actions in the moments before and during the riot.

House prosecutors have said their case was built on evidence that was overwhelmingly public, but they still have the opportunity to add sworn testimony from officials who could offer new perspectives. This month, they invited Mr. Trump to testify under oath at the trial, but his lawyers declined the request.

After closing arguments, there is also a possibility that senators, who have spent the week listening to presentations, will have an opportunity to speak for the first time before casting their votes.

In Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial last year, a number of senators took turns explaining their positions before the final vote was held, though it was unclear whether that practice would be revived this time, or which members would speak.

As in Mr. Trump’s first impeachment trial, there is little doubt that with the current partisan climate in the Senate, a final vote will end in acquittal.

This time, however, several Republicans appear willing to join Democrats in voting to convict Mr. Trump, setting the stage for what would be the most bipartisan vote in a presidential impeachment trial.

So far, at least five Republicans have signaled openness to voting to convict the former president. Among them is Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, who was the sole member of his party to find that Mr. Trump committed impeachable offenses in the trial last year.

A possible sixth vote could come from Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, who split with other Republicans on Monday in voting to allow the trial to move forward.

Speculation has grown that an additional group of Republicans who have been tight-lipped about the proceedings in recent weeks, including Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, could be preparing to make a surprise break from the party.

In total, 17 Republican senators would need to join all 50 of their Democratic colleagues to reach the two-thirds majority needed to convict Mr. Trump.

The New York Times will continue following the trial, with live updates and analysis throughout. Visit nytimes.com for video and more coverage.

There is still a remote possibility that House managers could request a debate and vote to call witnesses before closing arguments begin.

On Friday, Mr. Trump’s lawyers repeatedly derided the Democrats’ case as a “snap impeachment,” criticizing lawmakers for not conducting a more complete investigation of what happened on Jan. 6 and Mr. Trump’s actions in the moments before and during the riot.

House prosecutors have said their case was built on evidence that was overwhelmingly public, but they still have the opportunity to add sworn testimony from officials who could offer new perspectives. This month, they invited Mr. Trump to testify under oath at the trial, but his lawyers declined the request.

After closing arguments, there is also a possibility that senators, who have spent the week listening to presentations, will have an opportunity to speak for the first time before casting their votes.

In total, 17 Republican senators would need to join all 50 of their Democratic colleagues to reach the two-thirds majority needed to convict Mr. Trump.

The New York Times will continue following the trial, with live updates and analysis throughout. Visit nytimes.com for video and more coverage.

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