Looks like Repubs have the votes – no witnesses – but Schumer will drag it out


Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) could be a ‘yes’ vote for witnesses. Last night Lamar Alexander said he would not vote for witnesses and Susan Collins said she would. Romney will vote for witnesses. However, the Senate Republicans have a 53-47 majority and it would take four defections for Democrats to win.

Even if Murkowski is a ‘yes,’ it’s a tie vote and a tie vote fails in the Senate. It could give the Justice the opportunity to step in, but he is not expected to do so ala Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase in the 1868 impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) asked Thursday why former national security adviser John Bolton should not be called to testify.

Murkowski, who is really a Democrat, as is Collins, is considered a swing vote.

The impeachment is unconstitutional, based on articles not enumerated in the Constitution. Murkowski’s job is to uphold the Constitution. That is the answer to her question.


Once that gateway vote is quashed, anything can happen. The trial could still go on, despite a vote for no witnesses.

The Senate is a body of equals. It protects the right of the minority. Democrats could push for extended closing debate by the managers and counsels for both sides..and then debate by senators. They undoubtedly will.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram said, ” Interest to stretch out the trial may be driven by an appetite to boost Joe Biden in Iowa. Some of it may be to not give the President an acquittal just before State of the Union. Some of it may just be that the Senate needs to give its members more say and debate.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wants to engineer votes to pin down GOP senators on a host of issues. That could stretch out the trial.

The elongated trial scenario just emerged overnight because no one knew where things would go on the gateway/witness vote.

In the end, the Republicans have the vote for acquittal.


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