No witnesses; Trump skates
Where Republicans considering Trump’s removal (or even hearing witnesses pertinent to the President’s trial) seem to have landed, is that they’re now willing to admit the President pretty much definitely did what he’s been impeached for by the House, but this does not rise to a level that requires his removal by the Senate.
Which is a big change from when the Senate trial started last week. But not significant enough. We really don’t hear much anymore that the evidence is insufficient, or the House Managers didn’t prove their case, or the President didn’t do it.
After the Senate closed two grueling days of questions and answers late last night, Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander put his decision to vote against calling witnesses this way:
“There is no need for more evidence to prove something that has already been proven and that does not meet the U.S. Constitution’s high bar for an impeachable offense”.
And so it goes...
Earlier in the evening, Lead Impeachment Manager Adam Schiff (who’s done a bang-up job presenting the House’s case), pledged to expedite deposition of witnesses, so that it’d take no more than one week to hear from people like Trump’s former National Security Advisor John Bolton. Apparently that was a last-ditch effort to keep that dream alive. Trump’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow countered by saying such an arrangement would “not make the Constitution happy”.
It ain’t quite over yet. The full Senate will vote on hearing from witnesses and maybe on acquitting Trump today. Don’t hold your breath…