The Senate could end the impeachment trial against President Trump today. That’s because Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander says he’ll vote against allowing witnesses to testify in the Senate trial.
Alexander, who has been seen as a key swing vote on the decision about witnesses, says that what President Trump did was “inappropriate,” but “not impeachable.” To review, four Republicans are needed to vote with all Democrats to have witnesses appear, and Maine's Susan Collins says she’s a “yes.” Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski says she’s still on the fence.
What we know for sure is that Senators will vote on allowing witnesses today – and that if that happens, it will the first time in history that an impeachment trial – our nation has seen 20 of them – without a single witness. House Democrats argued that a fair trial requires witnesses and subpoenas for documents that have been blocked by the White House. Trump attorneys warn that calling witnesses and summoning documents could significantly lengthen the trial.
Senators wrapped up two full days of questions to the two sides yesterday. Congressman Hakeem Jeffries said there is clear evidence of President Trump's wrongdoing in the Ukraine scandal and urged senators to remove Trump from office. Deputy White House counsel Patrick Philbin insisted that there is no proof that the President solicited or secured an illegal "quid pro quo" with Ukraine. California Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff said Trump needs to be removed for an "ongoing abuse of power" that threatens the integrity of the upcoming election.
Meanwhile, the hashtag ArrestRandPaul has been trending on Twitter after the Kentucky senator publicly outed the alleged Ukraine call whistleblower. In a remarkable moment, Chief Justice John Roberts refused to read his question aloud during day two of the Q and A portion of the trial. His question was about whether Obama administration holdovers and Democrats conspired with House staffers to impeach the president. When denied, Senator Paul read it out loud from a podium after storming out of the chambers.
Source: The Guardian