Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) may very well have just ended the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump. Late Thursday, the Tennessee Republican announced he would be voting "no" on witnesses.
"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 in a statement.
His vote will put the nail in the coffin, essentially, for witnesses, even with moderate Republicans Mitt Romney, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski potentially voting in favor of them. Just like when Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) cast the deciding vote in the confirmation for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Democrats are showing no mercy for Alexander ruining their plan, especially when they appeared to have him cornered.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) had some very strong feelings about Alexander's decision. Watch him explain how his colleague guaranteed that the trial will become a "kangaroo court."
"If you do not have a fair trial for the prosecution and the defense, it's not an exoneration. We can't let it be seen as that," @SenJeffMerkley tells @JohnBerman about what happens next if the Senate votes to acquit President Trump.https://t.co/yueUj1bIjI pic.twitter.com/e1lGX7Arco— New Day (@NewDay) January 31, 2020
"It's an offense against the Senate," Merkley said. "It's an offense against the rule of law. And it's an offense against the American people."
Merkley added, without being as blunt about it as impeachment manager Jerry Nadler, that Alexander was engaged in a "cover up" with the White House.
The Senate will vote on witnesses on Friday. If that fails, they'll move on to the all important vote whether to convict or acquit the 45th president of the United States.