As soon as Rep. Raskin asked to drop a witness, Trump's legal team went ballistic in shock. Attorney Michael van der Veen stepped forward and fell into such ridiculous ranting that Senators laughed at him and Senator Pat Leahy to demand order – and to tweak van der Veen for his rude language.
After it was found that the property managers were doing the unexpected, a vote was taken on whether to discuss the calling of witnesses. This vote took place between 55 and 45 with the Republican Sens. Collins, Murkowski, Romney and Sasse join all democrats. At the last minute Senator Lindsey Graham changed his vote to "yes" but this was clearly done as a pied piper so the defense can call nonsense witnesses and Graham claim to have been in favor of witnesses all along.
It is clear that the property managers want to hear from Republican MP Jaime Herrera Beutler, who shared McCarthy's testimony about his call to Trump and who confirmed those statements Friday night. Trump's legal team countered by threatening to call hundreds of witnesses, including Nancy Pelosi and Kamala Harris. Van der Veen insisted that they all have to show up for personal tidings in his office in "Phillydelphia" … which led to much of the chamber's chuckles.
After the vote, the chamber split into a number of small groups as the senators tried to work out rules for next steps. The Senate could go forward and vote on each witness in turn. It could be agreed to have a fixed number of witnesses on each side. A committee could even be set up to collect debris while the rest of the Senate gets back to normal business – although that last option is unlikely as Republicans couldn't claim the impeachment process is slowing the regular work of the Senate. Republicans suddenly seem intent on getting COVID-19 relief out of the way.
After a series of time-consuming maneuvers, the Senate finally took an official break. Action will resume at 12:30 p.m. ET, but there is no guarantee that anything will be resolved by then.