To the surprise of few, Sen. Susan Collins, the liberal Republican from Maine, sided with the Democratic Party in the call for additional witnesses, but the stunt that goes a long way toward helping Collins get reelected in a largely liberal state appears to be a moot point.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., may have the votes needed to bring the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump to a merciful end, perhaps as soon as Saturday, as a key vote on whether to call new witnesses, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., announced late Thursday that he’ll not support the motion.
Tonight, a smiling Mitch McConnell leaves the Senate with @frankthorp in tow, knowing he’s closer to ending Trump’s impeachment trial with no fresh witnesses or documents pic.twitter.com/HmhSuHv6ZQ
— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) January 31, 2020
Alexander, who is planning to retire at the end of this term, said there is “no need for more evidence,” and while he was critical of Trump’s actions, he slammed the effort by Democrats as a “shallow, hurried and wholly partisan impeachment.”
He also announced that he would be voting to acquit the president — needless to say, the intolerant left is not happy with him.
“It was inappropriate for the president to ask a foreign leader to investigate his political opponent and to withhold United States aid to encourage that investigation,” the senator said in a statement. “When elected officials inappropriately interfere with such investigations, it undermines the principle of equal justice under the law. But the Constitution does not give the Senate the power to remove the president from office and ban him from this year’s ballot simply for actions that are inappropriate.”
“The question then is not whether the president did it, but whether the United States Senate or the American people should decide what to do about what he did,” he said. “I believe that the Constitution provides that the people should make that decision in the presidential election that begins in Iowa on Monday.”
Read my full statement on my vote regarding additional evidence in the impeachment proceedings here: https://t.co/xmuRicS7U4
— Lamar Alexander (@SenAlexander) January 31, 2020
With the Democratic Party needing four GOP defections to prolong the trial — the GOP has a 53-47 majority in the upper chamber — Collins was a willing participant.
“I believe hearing from certain witnesses would give each side the opportunity to more fully and fairly make their case, resolve any ambiguities, and provide additional clarity,” Collins announced in a statement. “Therefore, I will vote in support of the motion to allow witnesses and documents to be subpoenaed.”
This is a mistake. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by @RealDonaldTrump justifying additional witnesses. https://t.co/qdF780HBdC
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) January 31, 2020
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, was reportedly a defection, having expressed interest in hearing from former national security adviser John Bolton. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, another liberal Republican, said she would weigh the decision overnight and announce a decision Friday morning.
But Alexander was the swing vote, giving McConnell the numbers needed to fulfill his goal of making quick work of the impeachment trial.
Senate does not appear to have the votes to open the door to witnesses tomorrow night. Collins and Romney for witnesses. Alexander opposed. Even if Murkowski is a yes, they don’t have the votes. 50-50 vote is a tie, which by rule, fails
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) January 31, 2020
Sen. Lamar Alexander to vote no on additional witnesses, thereby giving McConnell the votes. Impeachment with acquittal of the president likely to wrap up tomorrow night or Saturday.
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) January 31, 2020
While liberals lost their collective minds over Alexander’s decision, there were plenty who rejoiced:
I never thought I’d write this, but Lamar Alexander just owned the libs.
All of them.
— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) January 31, 2020
GOOD NEWS! WAKE UP EVERYBODY
President @realDonaldTrump bogus impeachment will be ending soon!
THANKS TO LAMAR ALEXANDER!
The Democrats are calling him a coward for saying no to witnesses!
Lets show @SenAlexander some support.
** RETWEET & USE
👉 #ThankYouLamarAlexander pic.twitter.com/4PUSsfjaLU
— Terrence K. Williams (@w_terrence) January 31, 2020
BREAKING: Senator Lamar Alexander has announced that he will not vote for additional witnesses.
This impeachment sham is about to be over!
— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) January 31, 2020
But, boy, oh boy, are liberals angry the Republican lawmaker did not side with the opposition party in its partisan attempt to take out a duly elected president up for reelection in just over 9 months:
Lamar Alexander went with the Epstein massage guy. Quite a legacy.
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) January 31, 2020
GOP Senator Lamar Alexander will be voting no on allowing witnesses and documents, because he’s a coward who doesn’t care about America. He will forever be known as the guy who tried to cover up Trump’s criminal scheme. And nothing else. That’s it. Congrats, traitor.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) January 31, 2020
#LamarsLegacy is to turn @realDonaldTrump into the Casey Anthony and OJ Simpson of American politics. Except wait—even they had witnesses. @SenAlexander
— Lesley Abravanel (@lesleyabravanel) January 31, 2020
You are a total disgrace. "He's guilty but I vote to acquit." Gutless two-faced traitor. Hope you can look your family and grandkids in the eye because you are no profile in courage. Your legacy is swaddled in infamy. This is what you'll be remembered for. https://t.co/LpQdr5ut0v
— Steven Lindenberg (@drspl5) January 31, 2020
The fix is in.
The rest of this should be as easy as getting an all white jury to spring a Mississippi Klansman in 1965.https://t.co/2oDVcGZ2ZC
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) January 31, 2020
.@SenAlexander says charges against Trump are 'proved' but will vote against witnesses. You will go down in history as acknowledging the domestic and foreign threat to America and refusing to defend America from this threat to our democracy. https://t.co/6ob8SS7QTi
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) January 31, 2020
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