Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) will vote against hearing witnesses and other evidence in the impeachment of Donald Trump, according to the Washington Post, dooming the effort to muster a majority for a full trial.
Alexander said he is prepared to cast his vote in line with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), despite acknowledging in a statement that 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.” In other words, the Tennessee Republican, long touted as a principled moderate, is going along with the coverup.
Lamar is retiring this year. His colleague Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who faces a difficult re-election, announced that she will support efforts to bring in witnesses — but without Alexander, any such measures seem destined to fail. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), another embattled 2020 candidate, has already said he will vote against witnesses.
The Post also indicated that if the witness votes fail, Republican leaders may seek to acquit Trump as early as Friday — again violating their pledge to follow the same procedures as the Clinton impeachment, when no votes on a verdict were held until after three days of closed debate.