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WATCH LIVE: Senate expected to vote on conviction/aquittal of President Trump

To watch today's Senate impeachment trial starting at approx. 1:00 p.m. you can also click here.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate likely will vote soon to acquit or convict President Trump in only the third presidential impeachment trial in American history.

Democrats hopes of hearing from witnesses was dimmed after a late decision from Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.

He says he will oppose calling more witnesses in the impeachment trial.

Alexander, who was influenced by the late Howard Baker -- who broke with his party over Richard Nixon -- also captured attention when he questioned partisanship in the proceedings thus far.

Alexander is also close allies with McConnell, and after his question Thursday night he consulted with a key staff aide to the leader.

In response to Alexander and others, Democrat Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, a congressional staffer during Watergate and now a House prosecutor, told the senators that the Nixon impeachment also started as a partisan inquiry before a bipartisan consensus emerged.

She told them while the House acted on party lines against Trump, the Senate -- "the greatest deliberative body on the planet" -- has a new opportunity.

Chief Justice John Roberts, in the rare role presiding over the impeachment trial, could break a tie

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said she would support a vote for witnesses, but that now appears to be too little for the Democratic accusers.

The Democrats need to win four GOP senators for a victory today on summoning witnesses.

Trump was impeached by House last month on charges that he abused his power like no other president, jeopardizing Ukraine and U.S.-Ukraine relations. Democrats say Trump asked the vulnerable ally to investigate Joe Biden and debunked theories of 2016 election interference, temporarily halting American security aid to the country as it battled Russia at its border.

The second article of impeachment says Trump then obstructed the House probe in a way that threatened the nation's three-branch system of checks and balances.

Stay with WVVA for updates.

Bailey Pace

Social Media and Digital Content Manager

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