Inappropriate, Not Impeachable: Key GOP Senator’s “Astonishing” Statement Cle ars Way for Acquittal

Democracy Now!

Jan 31, 2020

The Republican-led Senate appears poised to acquit President Trump as early as today in his historic impeachment trial. On Thursday night, Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee announced he would vote against calling witnesses. Alexander said it was “inappropriate” for Trump to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political rival, but he went on to say “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.” Democrats need four Republican senators to support calling for witnesses, but it appears they will fall short. Republican Senators Susan Collins and Mitt Romney have said they will vote yes. If Lisa Murkowski of Alaska votes with them, it will result in a 50-50 tie, meaning no witnesses will be called unless Chief Justice John Roberts casts a tiebreaking vote. If the vote to call witnesses fails, the Republican leadership is expected to move quickly to end the trial and vote to acquit the president. Democrats have been demanding that former Trump national security adviser John Bolton testify in the trial. In an upcoming book, Bolton writes that Trump personally told him that $391 million in military aid to Ukraine was held up in order to pressure that country into launching investigations into Trump’s political rivals, including Joe Biden. We speak with Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor at Slate magazine, where she is the senior legal correspondent and Supreme Court reporter, as well as host of the legal podcast “Amicus.”

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