Impeachment trial: Donald Trump says his movement has 'only just begun' after being acquitted 

Donald Trump has been acquitted of inciting a mob to break into the Capitol Building at his impeachment trial in the US Congress.

Mr Trump, unrepentant, welcomed the his second impeachment acquittal and said his movement "has only just begun."

He slammed the trial as "yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country."

Though he was acquitted of the sole charge of incitement of insurrection, it was easily the largest number of senators to ever vote to find a president of their own party guilty of an impeachment count of high crimes and misdemeanors.

The final vote of 57 to 43 meant the Senate fell short by 10 votes. Seven Republicans joined Democrats in voting to convict Mr Trump.

The former president was charged with provoking his supporters to storm the US Capitol on Jan 6 in a siege that left five people dead and sent senators and congressmen fleeing for safety.

Follow the latest updates below. 

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Trump lawyer: We demolished their case

Michael van der Veen likened the prosecution to “a dying animal that we had trapped in the corner" after Mr Trump's lawyers "demolished their case".

“What had happened was the day before we demolished their case, and they were like a dying animal that we had trapped in the corner," he told reporters following his impeachment victory. "And so this morning their last gasp were swinging out at us trying to save their case, and it didn't work."

“They shouldn't have brought this impeachment from the beginning. It really does stem from political hatred,” he added. 

GOP Senator Susan Collins: Donald Trump 'violated his oath'

One of the Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump said the former-president "violated his oath to uphold the Constitution" as she explained her decision on the Senate floor.

Senator Susan Collins argued Mr Trump interfered with "the hallmark of our Constitution and our American democracy" by fighting against a smooth transition to power, which "constitutes grounds for conviction". 

“The record is clear that the President, President Trump abused his power, violated his oath to uphold the Constitution and tried almost every means in his power to prevent the peaceful transfer of authority to the newly elected President. My vote in this trial stems from my own oath and duty to defend the Constitution of the United States. The abuse of power and betrayal of his oath by President Trump meet the Constitutional standard of high crimes and misdemeanors and for those reasons, I voted to convict."

Pelosi blasts McConnell 

Senate majority leader Nancy Pelosi blasted Mitch McConnell for voting to acquit despite saying Donald Trump was "practically and morally responsible" for the Jan 6 insurgence.

In a press conference following the verdict, Ms Pelosi called Republicans who declined to prosecute “cowardly" and accused them of being "afraid to do their job".

"We censure people for using stationary for the wrong purpose. We don't censure people for inciting insurrection that kills people in the Capitol."

Trump lawyer: 'We're going to Disney World!'

Donald Trump's legal team is taking a victory lap after securing his acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial.

Addressing reporters after the trial concluded, the team thanked the Senate for finding the former president not guilty of inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

Michael van der Veen, who presented the bulk of the defense, fist-bumped a colleague as he departed the Capitol. He joked: "We're going to Disney World!"

The vote on Trump's impeachment was 57-43, with seven Republicans joining all Democrats to vote for Trump's conviction.

Everything you need to know so far

  • Former-president Donald Trump was cleared following the Jan 6 storming of the US Capitol that left five people dead and sent senators and congressmen fleeing for safety.
  • The Senate vote of 57-43 fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict Trump on a charge of incitement of insurrection after the shortest trial in American history.

  • A total of seven Republican Senators turned against Mr Trump, but a further 10 were needed for conviction

  • Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, condemned Mr Trump in a scathing speech, alluding that the former-president could still face criminal prosecution.

  • Mr Trump has released a statement calling the trial “the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country”.

Republican Senator Bill Cassidy explains his vote

Senator Bill Cassidy was one of seven Republicans who sided with the Democrats in voting to impeach Donald Trump. 

How the political trial of the century panned out

Donald Trump has been found not guilty of inciting a mob to attack the US Capitol after the Democrats failed to gain enough Republican votes to impeach the former-president.

But how did the shortest impeachment trial in American history play out?

Click here to read our day-by-day account of the trial.

Trump vulnerable to criminal prosecution 

Mitch McConnell suggested that Donald Trump could still face criminal prosecution for his actions.

"There's no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. No question about it. The people that stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president," Mr McConnell said.

"And having that belief was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories and reckless hyperbole, which the defeated president kept shouting into the largest megaphone on the earth."

McConnell: Trump committed 'disgraceful dereliction of duty'

Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, delivered a contemptuous speech condemning Donald Trump - despite voting acquit him. 

Mr McConnell called the Jan 6 attack of the Capitol a "disgrace" caused by the former-president after he fed "wild falsehoods" to his supporters. 

"There's no question - none - that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. No question about it," he said. "The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their President."

But Mr McConnell argued Mr Trump was now a private citizen as part of a jurisdictional argument explaining his vote. The Senate minority leader said he voted for acquittal because the Senate cannot act as a “moral tribunal”.

Analysis: Trump will use his acquittal to relaunch political warfare

Remember Sarah Palin? She lives in Alaska now, and you don't hear much about her.

There are senior Republicans who hope Donald Trump will similarly become a voice at the fringes of the party, shouting into the wind, a subject for the occasional "Where are they now?" TV segment.

But that is certainly not how the former president envisions his future, and the future of Republicanism.

Instead, Mr Trump intends to use his impeachment trial as a launching pad for a forceful return to the political stage.

Read more analysis by our US Editor Nick Allen here.

Acquittal insulting to 'generations of Americans patriots'

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has condemned the acquittal of Donald Trump, calling it an insult "to the generations of Americans patriots who gave their lives to defend our form of government". 

"The former President inspired, directed, and propelled a mob to violently prevent the peaceful transfer of power, subvert the will of the people, and illegally keep that President in power," he said following the result. 

"There is nothing, nothing more un-American than that. There is nothing, nothing more antithetical to our democracy."

Razor wire is shown atop a fence outside the U.S. Capitol during the fifth day of former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial  Credit: Getty Images North America 

The Jan 6 insurgence of the Capitol will live on as a "day of infamy in the history" of the nation, he added, as well as a "vote of infamy in the history of the United States Senate". 

"The former president tried to overturn the results of a legitimate election and provoked an assault on our own government, and well over half the Senate Republican Conference decided to condone it."

Donald Trump responds to result

Donald Trump has responded to the result of the impeachment trial. Read it in full below:

I want to first thank my team of dedicated lawyers and others for their tireless work upholding justice and defending truth.

My deepest thanks as well to all of the United States Senators and Members of Congress who stood proudly for the Constitution we all revere and for the sacred legal principles at the heart of our country.

Our cherished Constitutional Republic was founded on the impartial rule of law, the indispensable safeguard for our liberties, our rights and our freedoms.

It is a sad commentary on our times that one political party in America is given a free pass to denigrate the rule of law, defame law enforcement, cheer mobs, excuse rioters, and transform justice into a tool of political vengeance, and persecute, blacklist, cancel and suppress all people and viewpoints with whom or which they disagree. I always have, and always will, be a champion for the unwavering rule of law, the heroes of law enforcement, and the right of Americans to peacefully and honorably debate the issues of the day without malice and without hate. 

This has been yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country. No president has ever gone through anything like it, and it continues because our opponents cannot forget the almost 75 million people, the highest number ever for a sitting president, who voted for us just a few short months ago. 

I also want to convey my gratitude to the millions of decent, hardworking, law-abiding, God-and-Country loving citizens who have bravely supported these important principles in these very difficult and challenging times.  

Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun. In the months ahead I have much to share with you, and I look forward to continuing our incredible journey together to achieve American greatness for all of our people. There has never been anything like it!

We have so much work ahead of us, and soon we will emerge with a vision for a bright, radiant, and limitless American future. 

Together there is nothing we cannot accomplish. 

We remain one People, one family, and one glorious nation under God, and it’s our responsibility to preserve this magnificent inheritance for our children and for generations of Americans to come.

May God bless all of you, and may God forever bless the United States of America.

The GOP senators who voted to convict Donald Trump

The Senate vote of 57-43 fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict Mr Trump. Seven of the 50 Senate  Republicans joined the chamber's unified Democrats in favoring conviction, leaving the Democrats 10 short.

The seven Republicans were:

  • Richard Burr
  • Bill Cassidy
  • Susan Collins
  • Lisa Murkowski
  • Mitt Romney
  • Ben Sasse
  • Pat Toomey

Donald Trump not guilty

The Democrats have failed to gain the number of Republican votes needed for a majority, meaning Donald Trump has not been impeached. 

Richard Burr first Republican to break fold as others follow

Richard Burr, Senator from North Carolina, has become the Republican senator to deem Mr Trump guilty. 

Two other Republicans, Bill Cassidy and Susan Collins, soon followed suit

Votes roll in

So far six Republican senators have voted to acquit, while nine Democratic senators have voted to convict.

Senate holds final vote 

Closing arguments have now concluded, meaning the Senate will hold a final vote on whether Mr Trump is guilty of incitement of insurrection

Trump lawyers face pushback 

Jamie Raskin, lead impeachment manager, has returned to the floor to argue against comments made by Donald Trump's defence during their closing arguments. 

Democrats 'obsessed' with impeaching Trump 

The Democrats were "obsessed with impeaching Donald Trump" from the moment he entered office,  his lawyer Michael van der Veen said. 

"Now they have conducted a phoney impeachment show trial while he is a private citizen out of office... This hastily orchestrated and unconstitutional circus is the House Democrat's final, desperate attempt to accomplish their obsessive desire of the last five years."

Trump guilty only of 'brief delay'

Donald Trump is guilty only of a "brief delay" in calling off mobs attacking the US Capitol on Jan 6, his lawyer Michael van der Veen claimed during closing arguments.

Mr van der Veen compared the Jan 6 riot to last summer's Black Lives Matter protests in a move to justify the actions of Mr Trump and his supporters. 

Mr van der Veen compared the Jan 6 riot to last summer's Black Lives Matter protests  Credit: Bloomberg

"It's a hypocrisy" that Black Lives Matter protestors were celebrated after rioting in Washington, Mr van der Veen said.

Vice-president Kamala Harris was just as guilty as inciting violence in the past, he claimed: "She later said that those folks (protestors) were not going to let up and that they should not.

"All of this was far closer to the actual definition of incitement than anything President Trump has ever said or done."

He also falsely accused President Biden of failing to speak out against violence during the protests. 

Trump's lawyers make closing argument

The former-president's legal team has launched their final arguments ahead of the trial's end. 

Micheal van der Veen accused the prosecution of failing to mention just "one piece of law" throughout the trial: 

"They didn't talk about the constitution once. They didn't talk about the first amendment and its application. They didn't talk about due process and how it applies to this proceeding for my client."

Raskin: 'Is this America?'

As the prosecution tied up its closing arguments, lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin warned senators that how they voted in this trial will be how they are remembered in history. 

“This is almost certainly how you will be remembered by history,” Mr Raskin told senators set to vote on Mr Trump’s fate. 

"We've proved he betrayed his country, we've proved he betrayed the Constitution, we proved he betrayed his oath of office," he added. 

Mr Raskin finished by offering a pessimistic outlook for the United States if Mr Trump is not convicted.

“Is this America? What kind of America will we be? It’s now literally in your hands. Godspeed to the Senate of the United States.”

'The violence could just be the beginning'

The events of Jan 6 could be just the beginning of much darker days for the United States, Impeachment manager Joe Neguse warned during his closing arguments.

“I fear the violence we saw on that terrible day could just be the beginning,” Mr Neguse said. “This cannot be the beginning. It has to be the end. And senators, that decision is in your hands.”

The 36-year-old added “the stakes could not be higher” than they are in this trial as he asked senators to vote to impeach Donald Trump. 

In pictures: Democrats present their closing arguments

House impeachment manager Representative Jamie Raskin speaks during closing arguments Credit:  Senate Television
Representative David Cicilline pauses as Michael van der Veen, an attorney for former President Donald Trump, makes a point of order during closing arguments Credit: Senate Television 
Representative Madeleine Dean reacts as Trump's legal team challenges her closing arguments Credit: Shutterstock
Representative Joe Neguse gives closing arguments  Credit: Getty Images North America 

Debate slows trial

The trial was momentarily delayed following debate started by Trump's lawyers over a clip introduced by congresswoman Madeleine Dean during her closing argument. 

Ms Dean said the clip had certainly been included in the original evidence, meaning it could be presenting in closing arguments. 

As the trial resumed, Ms Dean said: “I have to say that, of all the trials I have ever been a part of, this is certainly one of them.”

'Donald Trump invited them'

Numerous clips of Donald Trump appearing to undermine the 2020 election marked the beginning of Representative Madeleine Dean's closing argument.

The reel shows the former-president call it the “most rigged election ever” and a “fraud on the American public”.

"The only way we're going to lose is if there's mischief, mischief and it will have to be on a big scale," Mr Trump said. "So, be careful."

Referring to the mob of supporters at the Capitol, Ms Dean said: "Donald Trump invited them, he incited them, then he directed them."

Closing arguments resume

Republican Senator Mike Lee has now withdrawn his objection. Impeachment manager Madeleine Dean is continuing with the Democrat's closing arguments. 

Who is Jaime Herrera Beutler?

Our US Correspondent David Millward breaks down how Jaime Herrera Beutler shot to the centre of the trial:

Until she joined nine other Republicans to back Donald Trump facing an impeachment trial, few people will have heard of Jaime Herrera Beutler beyond Capitol Hill or her Washington State constituency.

The first Hispanic to represent the state in Congress, her major achievement was spearheading legislation to address maternal mortality.

She was thrust into the spotlight on Friday when she tweeted out a statement confirming details of a phone call between Republican house leader, Kevin McCarthy and Donald Trump.

Democrats believe her account of the call torpedoed much of the Trump defence team’s case.

Her statement raises fresh questions about what Mr Trump knew and when during the riot, including whether he was aware that Mike Pence was being targeted by the mob.

Whether it will swing any votes in the Senate is a moot point, but it will further damage Mr Trump’s reputation in the court of public opinion.

'He said something that is not true!'

Following David Cicilline's closing arguments Republican Senator Mike Lee cried: "He said something that is not true!"

Senator Lee is now challenging the order of events offered by Representative Cicilline of Jan 6. 

Senator Lee is now challenging the order of events Credit: Senate Television 

Initially, Senator Patrick Leahy said debate was banned during closing arguments. As a result closing arguments are now on hold. 

Trump 'delighted' by riots as he watched on TV

Donald Trump was “delighted” by the Capitol riots as he watched his supporters on TV, Representative David Cicilline said as he delivered is closing argument.

The “dereliction of duty”, as Mr Trump incited the mob before delaying calling off the attackers, is a basis of which to vote for conviction, the Representative added. 

“If you believe he willfully failed to defend us and the law enforcement officers fighting to save us, and that he was delighted by the attack and that he saw it as a natural result of his call to stop the steal, and that he continued to insight violence as the attack unfolded, we respectfully submit you must vote to convict and disqualify so the events of Jan 6 can never happen again in this country."

Lead impeachment manager Raskin launches closing arguments  

The managers have presented “overwhelming and irrefutable” evidence in favour of convicting Donald Trump, lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin said as he began closing arguments.

Representative Raskin went on to quoted Liz Cheney, who said Mr Trump “summoned this mob”, before reading her full statement on the riot:

"The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing.None of this would have happened without the President.There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution. I will vote to impeach the President.”

Representative Raskin then summarised the trial thus far, listing the evidence the prosecution has provided, from the role Mr Trump played on Jan 6 to examples of election tampering.

"President Trump tried to bully state-level officials to commit fraud on the public by literally finding votes," Representative Raskin said. 

"Incitement, as we discussed, requires an inherently fact based evidentiary inquiries. And this is what we did.”

Jaime Herrera Beutler: statement in full 

House impeachment manager Jamie Raskin just read the statement recently admitted in full. It describes a phone call made on the day of the riot between Donald Trump and House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy:

"In my January 12 statement in support of the article of impeachment, I referenced a conversation House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy relayed to me that he’d had with President Trump while the January 6 attack was ongoing. Here are the details:

“When McCarthy finally reached the president on January 6 and asked him to publicly and forcefully call off the riot, the president initially repeated the falsehood that it was antifa that had breached the Capitol. 

"McCarthy refuted that and told the president that these were Trump supporters. That’s when, according to McCarthy, the president said: ‘Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.’

“Since I publicly announced my decision to vote for impeachment, I have shared these details in countless conversations with constituents and colleagues, and multiple times through the media and other public forums.

“I told it to the Daily News of Longview on January 17. I’ve shared it with local county Republican executive board members, as well as other constituents who ask me to explain my vote.

"I shared it with thousands of residents on my telephone town hall on February 8.

“To the patriots who were standing next to the former president as these conversations were happening, or even to the former vice president: if you have something to add here, now would be the time.”


Senate agrees not to call witnesses 

The Senate has resumed trial, beginning with submitting the statement of Republican congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, relating to a call between Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell, as evidence.

Bruce Castor, an attorney for former President Donald Trump, speaks after the Senate reached a deal to skip witness testimony Credit: Senate Television 

Bruce Castor, one of Donald Trump’s lawyers, argued than Ms Herrera Beutler's statement would not differ from her testimony is she was called as a witness. 

"Senators, Donald John Trump by his counsel is prepared to stipulate that if Herrera Beutler were to testify under oath as part of these proceedings, her testimony would be consistent with the statement she issued on February 12, 2021 and the former president's counsel is agreeable to the admission of that public statement into evidence at this time," he said.

Now, no witnesses will be called and the trial is likely to conclude today. 

'The Trump loyal 75 million are watching' warned Marjorie Taylor Greene

Marjorie Taylor Greene, the controversial representative from Georgia, warned Jaime Herrera Beutler that Donald Trump’s “loyal 75 million are watching” as debate intensifies over calling witnesses during the trial. 

Ms Taylor Green is one of Mr Trump’s most ardent supporters, known best for claiming school shootings were faked and supporting conspiracy theories like QAnon.

In an attack against Ms Herrera Beutler, Ms Taylor Green scolded her for impeaching “innocent President Trump” and “yapping to the press”. 

“The Trump loyal 75 million are watching,” Ms Taylor Green warned. 

'The craziest' impeachment yet

Republican Senator Bill Cassidy, who earlier this week was one of just six in his party to vote that the trial should continue, threw up his hands when asked if he had expected Saturday's vote on witnesses.

"Shelby says he's seen three of these and this is the craziest," he said, referencing Senator Richard Shelby whose 34-year tenure included the 1998 impeachment of former Democratic President Bill Clinton and Mr Trump's first impeachment trial.

Senator Richard Shelby  Credit: REUTERS

The Senate floor appeared chaotic during and after the vote. 

"This is more than unfortunate," Senators Ron Johnson said. "It's just going to inflame the situation."

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, asked whether an agreement on witnesses might be worked out promptly, said: "It doesn't look that way."

Hopes of speedy trial scrapped 

Here's the latest from our US Correspondent David Millward:

Hopes of a speedy impeachment trial appear to have been dashed by Senators’ decision to call witnesses.

The former president’s defence team had already booked flights home, expecting everything to be done and dusted this afternoon.

Texas senator and Trump ally Ted Cruz, described the move as a “hail Mary” by the Democrats – a desperate move given that they do not have the votes to secure a conviction.

The immediate response by the Trump legal team has been to suggest they will call as many as 300 witnesses – something which is unlikely to happen.

Initially it was believed the vote would be for just one witness, Jaime Herrera Beutler, a Republican congresswoman, and one of 10 to vote for the impeachment hearing to go ahead.

In and around the Senate chamber frantic negotiations are underway between both sides over where to go from here.

One option would be to take a vote on whether to call individual witnesses. Another would be to take a vote on batches of witnesses.

A proposals being floated is to allow each side to call the same number of witnesses.

But at the moment things are up in the air.

'300 witnesses to call' claims team Trump

Donald Trump's legal team say they already have at least 300 witnesses they want call, according to a list tweeted by adviser Jason Miller.

“We’re currently at 301 and counting,” Mr Miller said as he showed a photo of the list. 

However, it's important to point out that it is highly unlikely all of these will be called by the Senate. 

The rules applied to the trial and agreed by Senators stipulates that each witness called by either side must pass a majority vote. 

Senate recess until 12.30pm (ET)

Following a period of confusion across the floor when the vote to call witnesses passed, the Senate will now take a break until 5.30 (GMT)

Republican senators and staff talk on the floor after the vote Credit: Senate Television 

The Democrat's main weapon 

The House prosecutors will undoubtedly want to hear from to Republican congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler as a witness.

The congresswoman previously said she was aware of a conversation Mr Trump had with the House GOP leader as rioters were ransacking the Capitol over the election results.

Ms Herrera Beutler has widely discussed the call between House Republican leader and Mr Trump, which saw Kevin McCarthy ask the former president to stop the attack by his supporters.

Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler was one of 10 GOP House members who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump Credit: Al Drago /POOL Bloomberg 

"When McCarthy finally reached the president on January 6 and asked him to publicly and forcefully call off the riot, the president initially repeated the falsehood that it was Antifa that had breached the Capitol," Ms Herrera Beutler said in a statement.

"McCarthy refuted that and told the president that these were Trump supporters," the congresswoman added.

"That's when, according to McCarthy, the president said: 'Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,'" she said.

Trump team could call '100 witnesses' 

A total of 100 witnesses could be called by Donald Trump's legal team, Michael van der Veen has threatened. 

Senators are currently huddled in groups across the floor as they discuss which witnesses to call and how to move forward in a moment of chaos following the recent vote.

But Mr Trump's legal counsel has already played hard ball, swiftly responding that if Democrats were going to ask for witnesses, his team would need 100 depositions. 

"If you vote for witnesses, do not handcuff me," Michael van der Veen said.

Mr van der Veen added that Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would be among those he would attempt to call. 

What happens next

The recent vote does not mean witnesses can be called straight away, but allows motions to be brought forward for specific witnesses.

“It is now to debate whether to have witnesses," Senator Elizabeth Warren explained to reporters after the vote. "And then, it’s my understanding, there will be a vote after the debate, up or down, about whether we do have witnesses."

Here is a breakdown on what to expect next:

  • Another vote will be required to call specific witnesses, possibly including Republican Jaime Herrera Beutler, who is at the centre of the phone call controversy. 
  • The trial would then slow dramatically if the vote to subpoena a witness is passed. A recess could be required.
  • Following the deposition, new guidelines in regard to the testimony of the witness would need to be set by the chamber.

Senate has enough votes to debate calling witnesses 

The US Senate has voted to allow the calling of witnesses in Donald Trump's impeachment trial, throwing a wrench into Republican hopes to wrap up proceedings with a swift acquittal of the former president.

Five Republicans joined all 50 Democrats to vote to allow witnesses, after Democratic impeachment managers signalled their intent to subpoena congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, a Republican who voted to impeach Trump in January, to testify about the then-president's phone call with a House leader during the US Capitol insurrection.

The Republican Senators included Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Ben Sasse voted alongside Democrats.

The fifth, Lindsay Graham, changed his vote once it became clear the request was likely to pass. 

The call for witnesses triggered moments of chaos on the Senate floor, with leaders hitting the pause button on the trial so they can figure out the next steps in the process.

Senate votes on whether to call witnesses 

The Senate is currently voting on whether witnesses should be called during the impeachment trial. 

Witnesses called by House managers 

House Republican Herrera Beutler, who was the first to reveal a phone call between House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and Donald Trump, where the president said rioters cared more about the election than Mr McCarthy did, could be ordered to testify. 

Representative Jamie Raskin announced House managers are seeking to subpoena Ms Beutler. The call was mentioned during  a town hall earlier this week.

"Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are," Mr Trump said, according to Republican lawmakers.

McConnell vote intention leaves conviction unlikely 

The revelation that Mitch McConnell will vote to acquit Donald Trump leaves it highly likely that the Senate will fail to reach the two-thirds majority necessary to convict Mr Trump.

With the Senate split 50-50, 17 Republicans would need to defect from the former president in order to reach a conviction.

Mr McConnell remains hugely influential within his party, however, and his acquittal vote will carry weight.

Mitch McConnell remains hugely influential within his party Credit: REUTERS

But the top Republican, who broke with the president in December over Mr Trump's insistence that the election was stolen, signalled in his letter that he does not believe Trump is innocent of wrongdoing.

"The Constitution makes perfectly clear that presidential criminal misconduct while in office can be prosecuted after the president has left office, which in my view alleviates the otherwise troubling 'January exception argument raised by the House," Mr McConnell said according to Politico.

House prosecutors to call for witnesses as day five begins 

Day five of the trial has now begun. House prosecutors are set to call Republican lawmakers to testify as the trial comes to an end.

It is thought that if the Democrats look to call witnesses, the defence will attempt to call Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. 

A total of 51 votes are needed to summon the witnesses, meaning it's unlikely to happen. 

McConnell to vote to acquit Trump

US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is set to vote to acquit Donald Trump, according to an email to his colleagues:

“Colleagues - as I have said for some time, today’s vote is a vote of conscience and I know we will all treat is as such. I have been asked directly by a number of you how I intend to vote, so though it right to make that known prior to the final vote. While a close call, I am persuaded that impeachments are a tool primarily of removal and therefore we lack jurisdiction.”

Watch: 'Hypocrite' Democrats told supporters to 'fight', claims defence 

Lawyers for Donald Trump told his impeachment trial on Friday that Democrats are hypocrites – because they are charging the former president for using language like "fight", which they use themselves.

The defence team then showed the Senate clips of Democrats using provocative language while campaigning.

Yesterday's key takeaways 

Yesterday was another extraordinary day in Washington. For those of you in need of a refresher, here are the key takeaways:

  • Donald Trump's lawyers accused Democrats of "constitutional cancel culture" and a "monstrous" act of political vengeance designed to stop him running for the White House again

  • The former president's legal team said his comments telling followers to "fight like hell' before the US Capitol siege on Jan 6 were free speech, and politicians had been saying similar for hundreds of years. They played  lengthy videos of top Democrat politicians – including Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Nancy Pelosi – repeatedly calling on their own supporters to "fight" in the past

  • Mr Trump's lawyers said the idea he meant his supporters to carry out violence was "patently absurd" and "slanderous"

  • Joe Biden appeared to put pressure on Republicans on Friday night, saying: "I'm anxious to see what my Republican friends do, if they stand up"

Read more: Five key takeaways from the defence's case

Trial to resume at 3pm (GMT)

Welcome to our live coverage of Donald Trump’s dramatic impeachment trial as it edges closer to the finish line. 

The trial will resume today at 3pm (GMT) and the Senate is likely to reach a verdict on his culpability today.

The case moved rapidly this week and closing arguments from the prosecution and defence are expected later today, just over six weeks after the Jan 6 assault of the Capitol building.

A total of 100 Senators will vote on whether to impeach Mr Trump on charges of inciting insurrection - but it seems unlikely the prosecution will gain the amount of votes needed to convict.

The key word here is ‘majority’ of the vote: two thirds of the Senate must back the prosecution. 

This means at least 17 Republicans must vote against their former-president for the magic number of 67, the threshold for conviction, to be reached.

House prosecutors have argued that Mr Trump's rallying cry to go to the Capitol and "fight like hell" for his presidency just as Congress was convening Jan 6 to certify Joe Biden's election victory was part of an orchestrated pattern of violent rhetoric and false claims that unleashed the mob.

The former-presidents' lawyers say Mr Trump's words were not intended to incite the violence and that impeachment is nothing but a "witch hunt" designed to prevent him from serving in office again.