Collins, Romney reportedly jump ship, one swing vote holds the line for McConnell on impeachment

(Photo by Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)

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.

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.”

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.”

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.

https://twitter.com/EWErickson/status/1223010333654179840?s=20

While liberals lost their collective minds over Alexander’s decision, there were plenty who rejoiced:

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:

https://twitter.com/DeliliaOMalley/status/1223133523676102656?s=20

https://twitter.com/Chrisschalz1/status/1223205090967900160?s=20

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Tom Tillison

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