Lisa Murkowski

Senators try to punt their way out of trouble and Trump’s line of fire
It may look like a winning strategy today, but the election is still nine months away

Sen. Susan Collins suggested impeachment itself was enough to scare Donald Trump into walking the straight and narrow from now on. Has she ever met the president? Curtis asks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Don’t you just hate it when someone uses a sports metaphor to teach a life lesson? So do I, usually. But with the Super Bowl not a week in the rearview mirror, it would be impossible to ignore the concept of the punt — getting out of a tough situation by moving the ball as far as possible toward the opponent’s end zone.

If you’re playing against a Patrick Mahomes-led Kansas City Chiefs, you’re merely buying some time before the inevitable score. But senators using that tactic in an impeached President Donald Trump’s trial are no doubt hoping any payback comes late, or not at all.

Senate votes to acquit Trump on both impeachment charges
Romney only defector in either party

Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., walks past protesters as he leaves the Capitol after the Senate impeachment trial proceedings on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate on Wednesday acquitted President Donald Trump on two articles of impeachment, swiftly ending months of investigation and public arguments that ultimately changed few minds on Capitol Hill. 

The Senate voted 48-52 to reject the House’s abuse of power charge and 47-53 to reject the obstruction of Congress charge. A two-thirds majority of the Senate is required for conviction.

Impeachment news roundup: Feb. 5
Trump to get his verdict, Romney only senator to break with party

Alabama Democratic Sen. Doug Jones, considered the most vulnerable Senate incumbent up for reelection this year, announced Wednesday he would vote to convict Trump on both of the articles of impeachment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 4:38 p.m.

A day after President Donald Trump presented what amounted to a summary of how he’ll campaign for reelection, the Senate voted down both articles of impeachment against the president.

Impeachment news roundup: Feb. 4
Collins says she will vote to acquit Trump on both articles

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, arrives for the Senate Republicans’ lunch in the Capitol before the start of Senate impeachment trial session on Jan. 23, 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 4:3o p.m.

Senators are taking to the Senate floor to explain their vote on President Donald Trump’s impeachment Tuesday and others will get their turn until they cast it Wednesday afternoon.

Impeachment news roundup: Feb. 3
House managers and Trump defense team revisit familiar themes in closing arguments

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic presidential candidate, arrives at the Capitol on Monday before the continuation of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. Warren is expected to leave Washington later Monday for Iowa for the first contest in the Democratic presidential primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5 p.m.

Both sides in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial delivered their closing arguments today, with Democrats defending their case — and staff members — while the president’s team repeated their allegations that the impeachment effort is just a bid to undo Trump’s election.

Senate rejects motion for witnesses at Trump impeachment trial
Trial now moves toward acquittal, but schedule far from certain

House managers Rep. Sylvia R. Garcia, D-Texas, and Rep. Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., walk to the Senate chamber for the start of the Senate impeachment trial proceedings on Jan. 31. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate on Friday rejected a motion to hear from additional witnesses or to see new documents in its impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, ending weeks of speculation over whether Republicans would break with their party to extend the trial.

Republican senators largely stuck together in Friday’s pivotal 49-51 vote that would have allowed the body to subpoena new information before voting on whether to remove Trump from office on the two articles of impeachment presented by House impeachment managers.

Photos of the Week: Groundhog Day edition
The week ending Jan. 31 as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists

Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander enters the Capitol on Saturday for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Impeachment news roundup: Jan. 31
Senate votes against motion to call witnesses

Laurie Arbeiter protests on Pennsylvania Avenue before the continuation of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 8 p.m.

A motion to call witnesses at the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump was unsuccessful Friday evening, on a 49-51 vote. A later 53-47 vote Friday evening defined the next steps in the trial.

With Alexander a ‘no’ on witnesses, impeachment trial enters stretch run
Moderates’ queries hint at remaining hangups they have about the case

Maine Sen. Susan Collins arrives for the continuation of the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Thursday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Senators used their second and final day of questioning in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump to tee up debate on whether to subpoena documents and witnesses that did not appear during the House’s inquiry. The late-night announcement that Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander will vote against additional witnesses Friday signals there likely won’t be enough votes to continue the trial much longer. 

After senators exhausted their cumulative 16-hour Q&A session with House managers and Trump’s lawyers, Alexander, who will retire at the end of this term, announced he would vote against hearing from new witnesses.

View from the gallery: Impeachment trial end in sight, senators fight common cold
Outside the chamber and in galleries, much talk of the “Senate plague”

Artists Art Lien, left, and William J. Hennessy Jr. sketch scenes from the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in the Capitol on Thursday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stood up to send a question to President Donald Trump’s defense team around 6:45 p.m. Thursday, but first he suggested an upcoming 45-minute break for dinner.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., instead of his usual response of “without objection,” changed it to a phrase that resonated with the haggard senators and others in the chamber. “I’m sure there’s no objection,” Roberts said, causing a murmur of laughter to spread even to the page delivering the paper card with McConnell’s question to the rostrum.