The Democratic bid to call for additional witnesses in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial took a major blow late Thursday as Tennessee senator Lamar Alexander said he would vote against the motion.
The veteran Republican politician said that there’s no need to call additional witnesses. “I worked with other senators to make sure that we have the right to ask for more documents and witnesses, but there is no need for more evidence to prove something that has already been proven and that does not meet the U.S. Constitution’s high bar for an impeachable offense,” he said in a statement.
According to Alexander, while President Trump’s action of asking the head of another country to investigate a political rival was “inappropriate,” it didn’t qualify as the kind of extreme crime that constitutes an impeachable offense under the constitution. “Let the people decide,” he said. This increased the chances of
Why It Matters
The Senate is to vote on whether to allow additional witnesses in the trial on Friday. With most Democrats set to vote in favor, and Republicans against it, a handful of swing voters will play a key role in deciding whether the witnesses are called.
The Democrats have insisted on calling senior officials in the Trump administration as witnesses, in particular, former national security advisor John Bolton, who has said that he will testify if subpoenaed.
The New York Times on Sunday reported that a leaked draft of John Bolton’s book said that President Trump insisted on not releasing the aid to Ukraine until the authorities there agreed to open an investigation against 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden.
The Democrats need four Republicans to vote in their favor for the witnesses to be called, according to the Wall Street Journal. Maine senator Susan Collins announced earlier in the day that she will vote to allow the witnesses. Senator Mitt Romney is also expected to vote for the motion, and Lisa Murkowski remains undecided.
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