Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee declared late Thursday night he will oppose calling more witnesses in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, all but dashing Democratic efforts for more testimony and pushing the Senate toward an imminent vote to acquit the president.
A vote on witnesses, expected Friday, could lead to an abrupt end and assured acquittal in only the third presidential impeachment trial in American history. Trump was pressing for action in time for his State of the Union address, and that now seems likely. As the Senate adjourned late Thursday, it set the date for Tuesday night’s speech.
Despite the Democrats’ singular, sometimes-passionate focus on witnesses after revelations from John Bolton, the former national security adviser, the numbers are now falling short. It would take four Republicans to break with the 53-seat majority and join with all Democrats to demand more testimony.
Chief Justice John Roberts, in the rare role presiding over the impeachment trial, could break a tie, but that seems unlikely.
Alexander said in a statement there was “no need for more evidence,” giving the Trump team the likelihood of a Senate vote in its direction.