Senate Democrats' push for new witnesses voted down

Only two Republicans voted to call witnesses in the impeachment trial: Sens. Susan Collins and Mitt Romney.
4:40 | 01/31/20

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Transcript for Senate Democrats' push for new witnesses voted down
Great to have you with us here on a very busy Friday night. We begin with the breaking news in the impeachment trial of president trump. The senate voting just a short time ago, defeating a motion to call witnesses. There will be no witnesses. John Bolton will not be heard in the senate. All eyes had been on four moderate Republicans but the at Democrats' hopes dimming when Lamar Alexander said he'd vote no on witnesses but saying what the president did was inappropriate but not impeachable. Susan Collins and Mitt Romney voting yes. Then Alaska's Susan murkowski voting no. She says she has concern with the whole process, saying congress has failed. 51-49, voting in on witnesses. The president set to be aquitted of abuse of power and obstruction of justice and Mary Bruce tonight on when that acquittal will lely come. Reporter: Tight, Democrats' hopes ofalling new witnesses inhe impeachment trial shattered. Senator murkowski? No. Reporter: Moments later the top senate Democrat speaking out. It's a grand tragedy, one of the worst tragedies that the senate has ever overcome. Reporter: Just hours before "The New York Times" published new allegations from the man Democrats had hoped to call as their star witness, president trump's former national security advisor John Bolton. According to "The times," in Bolton's new book he writes the president's campaign to pressure Ukraine began earlier than previously thought. Bolton describing a may oval office meeting with president trump, his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and white house counsel pat Cipollone, who is currently leading the impeachment defense. Bolton reportedly claims the president urged him to call the president of Ukraine and urged him to meet with Giuliani. The president today said that meeting never happened. And Giuliani accused Bolton of lying to sell his book. But Democrats seized on the report to launch a last ditch appeal to allow Bolton to testify, pointing to polls showing three out of four Americans want to hear from The witnesses the president is concealing will tell their stories, and we will be asked why we didn't want to hear that information when we had the chance. What answer shall we give if we do not pursue the truth now? Reporter: But at the end of the day, only two Republicans voted to call witnesses. Senators Susan Collins of main Mr. Romney? Aye. Reporter: And Mitt Romney of Utah. Alaska senator Lisa murkowski, who kept everyone guessing for weeks, voted no, blaming the process saying it was rushed and flawed, adding as an institution, the congress has failed. Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, another holdout, also voted no, saying, there is no need for more evidence to prove something that has already been proven. But Alexander also criticized This is an inappropriate act by a president. The remedy for that is the election. Reporter: The top Democrat in the senate says without witnesses, the president's acquittal will be meaningless. The democratic leader has made very clear he doesn't believe this will be a true acquittal because this hasn't been a fair trial. Well, I think I can live with his criticism. It wasn't a fair process. But again, those deciding votes tonight. Lisa murkowski and Lamar Alexander voting no to witnesses. They needed them, the Democrats, in order to get witnesses before the senator. In particular, John Bolton. Let's get to Mary Bruce. The senate is trying to acquit president trump. The president wanted this before the state of the union on Tuesday, but tonight you're learning that won't happen until Wednesday. Reporter: There's been a lot of negotiating today. Republicans are eager to put impeachment behind them but democratic senators want a chance to go on the senate floor. They will have a chance, but that means this trial will go beyond the Iowa caucuses and state of the union. Tonight, no witnesses in the the president clearly pleased. Let's get to Jonathan Karl. Jon, what are you hearing tonight? Reporter: The white house, the president's legal team fought hard to prevent witnesses and they prevailed. They're obviously happy about that and looking forward to the final vote next week, which the president will certainly call an exoneration. The bottom line from the president's advisers, they say he is eager to put this behind him. Jonathan Karl, Mary Bruce, our entire team in Washington, we thank you tonight.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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