BREAKING: Key Swing-Vote Senator Lamar Alexander Comes Out Against Witnesses

Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander has come out against witnesses.

Alexander has been considered a key swing vote.

Democrats need 4 GOP Senators to vote in favor of witnesses and many considered their most promising to be Mitt Romney (Utah), Susan Collins (Maine) Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Alexander (Tennessee.)

With Alexander coming out against witnesses it’s likely Democrats will fall short unless another Republican Senators comes out of the woodworks in favor of witnesses.

FoxNews reports Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander announced late Thursday night that he would not support additional witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial, seemingly ending Democrats’ hopes of hearing testimony from former National Security Advisor John Bolton and paving the way for the president’s imminent acquittal as soon as Friday night.

Republicans have a 53-47 majority in the chamber, and can afford up to three defections. In the event of a 50-50 tie, Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts is likely to abstain rather than assert his debatable power to cast a tie-breaking vote. GOP Sen. Susan Collin has announced she wants to hear from a “limited” number of additional witnesses; Utah GOP Sen. Mitt Romney has strongly signaled he wants to hear from Bolton; and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski told Fox News late Thursday she was still weighing the issue and would decide in the morning.

Alexander, in his dramatic late-night statement that came at the close of the Senate’s session Thursday, flat-out dismissed Democrats’ “obstruction of Congress” article of impeachment as “frivilous” given the president’s long-established principle of executive privilege.

At the same time, he said Democrats had easily proven their case that “the president asked Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter” and that “the president withheld United States aid, at least in part, to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.”

However, Alexander, who is retiring, said Trump’s conduct did not justify the extraordinary remedy of his immediate removal by the Senate, especially in an election year.

“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 said.

He added: “There is no need for more evidence to prove that the president asked Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter; he said this on television on October 3, 2019, and during his July 25, 2019, telephone call with the president of Ukraine. 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.

STATEMENT BY LAMAR ALEXANDER:

“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.

“There is no need for more evidence to prove that the president asked Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter; he said this on television on October 3, 2019, and during his July 25, 2019, telephone call with the president of Ukraine. 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.

“It was inappropriate for the president to ask a foreign leader to investigate his political opponent and to withhold United States aid to encourage that investigation. When elected officials inappropriately interfere with such investigations, it undermines the principle of equal justice under the law. But the Constitution does not give the Senate the power to remove the president from office and ban him from this year’s ballot simply for actions that are inappropriate.

“The question then is not whether the president did it, but whether the United States Senate or the American people should decide what to do about what he did. I believe that the Constitution provides that the people should make that decision in the presidential election that begins in Iowa on Monday.

“The Senate has spent nine long days considering this ‘mountain’ of evidence, the arguments of the House managers and the president’s lawyers, their answers to senators’ questions and the House record. Even if the House charges were true, they do not meet the Constitution’s ‘treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors’ standard for an impeachable offense.

“The framers believed that there should never, ever be a partisan impeachment. That is why the Constitution requires a 2/3 vote of the Senate for conviction. Yet not one House Republican voted for these articles. If this shallow, hurried and wholly partisan impeachment were to succeed, it would rip the country apart, pouring gasoline on the fire of cultural divisions that already exist. It would create the weapon of perpetual impeachment to be used against future presidents whenever the House of Representatives is of a different political party.

“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.”