Three Republican Senators are open to voting for witnesses at Trump’s trial, which means that Democrats may only be one vote short of a fair trial.
Three GOP senators have expressed some level of support for calling witnesses, and if they joined all Democrats, it would result in a 50-50 tie and likely be defeated. Unless Chief Justice John Roberts shocked Washington by wading in with a tie-break, Democrats need one more Republican to break ranks and upend GOP plans for a swift Trump acquittal.
That’s got both parties eagerly eyeing Alexander. He’s a retiring defender of the Senate as an institution who’s occasionally bucked his party, but he also counts Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as a longtime ally. He’s more hesitant to criticize Trump than some other Republicans but has also said it was “inappropriate” for Trump to ask foreign governments to investigate his political opponents.
The Politico report was backed up by Jonathan Swan from Axios:
This reporting squares with everything I heard from Republican aides on the Hill today https://t.co/X7vq39CwXW
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) January 24, 2020
The Republican dream of a quick sham impeachment trial could be dead in a few days. If Republicans suddenly start negotiating with Democrats on a witness agreement, it will be a sign that he doesn’t have the votes to block witnesses.
Republicans who are facing reelection want the trial to look fair, but it might be the retiring Lamar Alexander that gets witnesses at Trump’s trial. One suspects that the floodgates could open on witnesses if the fourth Republican breaks with the Majority Leader.
The public pressure is working as Democrats might be a single vote from making Trump’s nightmares come true.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association