Democrats Might Fail to Secure to Call for Witnesses in the Senate Trial
At the height of the impeachment trial, critics say that Senate Democrats might not be able to secure the votes they needed to call more witnesses against President Donald Trump.
Chad Pergram, Fox News senior reporter posted that “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, fail.”
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
This is especially significant as Pegram notes that if the Democrats failed to get the votes, the Senate will be forced to provide a verdict on both articles.
To strengthen this belief, on Thursday, Sen. Lamar Alexander made an announcement that he will be voting against additional witnesses for the impeachment trial.
On a public statement, Lamar said that “There is no need for more evidence to conclude that the president withheld United States aid, at least in part, to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens; the House managers have proved this with what they call a ‘mountain of overwhelming evidence. There is no need to consider further the frivolous second article of impeachment that would remove the president for asserting his constitutional prerogative to protect confidential conversations with his close advisers.” “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 United States Constitution’s high bar for an impeachable offense,” Alexander added.
The Senator wrote that although the prosecution might have succeeded in proving that Trump had interfered with the investigation and might have deemed as “inappropriate,” Alexander said that it is still not enough to impeach the president. “Treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors’ standard for an impeachable offense,” he added.
Alexander’s statement came amidst the Democrats’ call to allow former White House National Security Advisor, John Bolton, to testify in the trial. In fact, just last Sunday, the New York Times reported a leak in Bolton’s book, in which he alleged Trump had asked the help of Ukrainian president to investigate on the Biden’s ties to Ukraine. Trump responded to Bolton’s accusations saying that it was a “nasty and untrue book.”
To counteract the Republican’s successful arguments, Sen. Susan Collins also announced that she will be voting for additional witnesses. As Collins said “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. Therefore, I will vote in support of the motion to allow witnesses and documents to be subpoenaed.”
Critics are wary of Collin’s statement as poltically motivated. Journalist Yashar Ali posted “Gotta wonder…did Susan Collins issue a statement that she was voting YES on witnesses and more documents because she knew that Senator Alexander was voting NO? Election year protection? I think we know the answer.”
Collins added “If this motion passes, I believe that the most sensible way to proceed would be for the House Managers and the President’s attorneys to attempt to agree on a limited and equal number of witnesses for each side. If they can’t agree, then the Senate could choose the number of witnesses.”
Gotta wonder...did Susan Collins issue a statement that she was voting YES on witnesses and more documents because she knew that Senator Alexander was voting NO?— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) January 31, 2020
Election year protection?
I think we know the answer
However, the New York Times warned that the opposition might have other plans. As the media outlet wrote “Democrats are hinting at a gambit to frustrate the Republicans’ plans, though Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, has refused to tip his hand.”