Ahead of a tight vote on whether to hear new witnesses in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, the Senate is preparing for the possibility that this crucial roll call has an asterisk in the history books: it ends in a tie. And it’s a scenario that would suddenly put a spotlight on Chief Justice John Roberts.
For weeks, Republicans and Democrats alike have been confident that Roberts would not break a tied-vote during Trump’s impeachment trial, citing past precedent, the Constitution and their own gut feelings about how it would play in a polarized nation.
But ahead of Friday’s widely anticipated showdown over whether to call new witnesses and with GOP leaders moving to lock down on-the-fence Republicans, the Senate is newly abuzz over the uncertainty of what happens if the chamber deadlocks and what Roberts might do in the event of a stalemate.
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