Looks like the GOP has the votes to block witnesses from testifying; acquittal is near

Efforts to bring wavering Republicans into line appeared to be working as President Trump’s lawyers argued that anything a president did to win re-election was “in the public interest.”

The White House and Senate Republicans worked aggressively on Wednesday to discount damaging revelations from John R. Bolton and line up the votes to block new witnesses from testifying in President Trump’s impeachment trial, in a push to bring the proceeding to a swift close.

Before the trial convened, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, and other Republicans signaled that they were regaining confidence that they would be able cobble together the 51 votes needed to block new witnesses and documents and bring the trial to an acquittal verdict as soon as Friday, after the revelations from Mr. Bolton, reported Sunday by The New York Times, had threatened to knock their plans off course.

Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, the No. 3 Senate Republican, declared that he had “heard enough” and predicted that the Senate would vote to acquit the president by week’s end.

“I’m ready to vote on final judgment,” Mr. Barrasso told reporters. Asked if Republicans planned to move directly to a vote on the two articles of impeachment.

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