Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., acknowledged to Republican senators during a private meeting Tuesday that he did not currently have the votes to avoid calling witnesses in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, a GOP aide familiar with his comments told NBC News.

Although the votes are not yet secured, Republicans appeared confident Tuesday evening that they would ultimately succeed in blocking witnesses. Senate Republican leadership exerted strong pressure on the party’s members to vote against calling witnesses, two sources familiar with the matter said.

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