Both of Arkansas’ senators voted against allowing testimony from witnesses at President Donald Trump’s trial before the U.S. Senate.
The U.S. House prosecutors alleged that Trump or his associates were involved in a months-long scheme to pressure the Ukrainian government to make an announcement of an investigation that would be politically damaging to Trump’s electoral rival.
The House impeached the President on Dec. 18 — in essence, filing an indictment against him — and sent the matter to trial before the Senate per the U.S. Constitution in January. District 4 Rep. Bruce Westerman voted against impeachment.
One of the counts of impeachment was for contempt of Congress because the White House did not cooperate with investigators during the House of Representatives’ process.
While the House’s case managers were allowed to make their case over 24 hours and the President’s attorneys were given the same privilege, Senate leadership did not allow either side to call witnesses to clarify their case.
Senators were given a chance Friday to vote to call witnesses in the matter, but the chamber ultimately voted 51-49 against calling witnesses. Arkansas Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton both voted against calling witnesses.
Cotton has said in previous media interviews that he was against calling witnesses because it would prolong the trial.
Boozman’s office released an official statement following the vote.
“The Senate trial has allowed ample time for both sides to make their arguments, present their evidence and respond to senators’ questions,” he said.
“The House investigation was hasty, flawed and clearly undertaken under partisan pretenses. It is not the Senate’s responsibility to do the work the House was unwilling to do because of arbitrary deadlines and political posturing. It is time to bring this trial to a conclusion.”
The trial was on break through Tuesday. It is set to resume Wednesday, at which time most observers expect the Senate to vote to acquit the President, largely on party lines.