Republican Senator Lamar Alexander has announced his readiness to vote against calling for additional witnesses and documents at the impeachment trial of President Trump.
In a statement on Thursday, Alexander, a close friend of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel, claimed that “there is no need for more evidence to prove that the president asked Ukraine to investigate [former Vice President] Joe Biden and his son, Hunter; he said this on television on 3 October 2019, and during his 25 July 2019 telephone call with the president of Ukraine”.
He also argued that there is enough evidence to conclude that POTUS “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,” Alexander said.
He also asserted that Trump’s “inappropriate” move “to ask foreign leader to investigate his political opponent and to withhold United States aid to encourage that investigation conduct […] undermines the principle of equal justice under the law”.
At the same time, the senator insisted that the Senate is not authorised to impeach Trump and ban him from the ballot just for “inappropriate” behaviour.
“Our founding documents provide for duly elected presidents who serve with ‘the consent of the governed,’ not at the pleasure of the United States Congress. Let the people decide,” Alexander pointed out.
Senate to Vote on More Witnesses in Impeachment Trial
The Senate is expected to vote Friday or Saturday on whether to allow additional witnesses and evidence in the impeachment trial against Trump, with the Democrats pinning high hopes on Alexander, who they thought could help them to reach a 51-vote majority necessary to subpoena the witnesses.
On Thursday, Republican Senator Susan Collins indicated intent to vote for calling witnesses and documents, with her colleague Mitt Romney due to announce the same move later on Friday.
Thursday saw Day Nine of the Senate impeachment trial against President Trump, who has repeatedly denied the Democrats’ accusations that he “pressured” Ukraine to probe former US Vice President and current presidential hopeful President Joe Biden over alleged corruption, something that the Democrats allege is tantamount to abuse of power.
POTUS, in turn, slammed the impeachment proceedings as another "witch-hunt" against him in a bid to reverse the results of the 2016 election, urging in numerous Twitter messages that people read the memo of his phone call with Zelensky and put an end to the "impeachment hoax".