We won’t know exactly until tomorrow but it looks now like the GOP will, in fact, be able to block the move for new witnesses and more evidence.
Critical Republican senators have now weighed in with how they will vote.
Democrats needed to flip four Republicans. Now, by all rights, they should have to flip more and the Democrats who are running against President Donald Trump should be recusing themselves and/or should not be allowed to vote.
But be that as it may, if everything holds at present, it appears the Democrats don’t have enough.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Sen. Susan Collins are both going to vote yes.
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) January 31, 2020
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is taking the night to think about it.
But Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who would have been the needed fourth, is a no. Alexander said while he thought what Trump had done was inappropriate, it did not rise to the level of an impeachable offense. So even if everything Democrats said was true, there was no reason to have more evidence since it wasn’t an impeachable offense in any event. He also said he thought the American people should decide in the election.
Sen. Lamar Alexander to vote no on additional witnesses, thereby giving McConnell the votes. Impeachment with acquittal of the president likely to wrap up tomorrow night or Saturday.
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) January 31, 2020
Senate does not appear to have the votes to open the door to witnesses tomorrow night. Collins and Romney for witnesses. Alexander opposed. Even if Murkowski is a yes, they don’t have the votes. 50-50 vote is a tie, which by rule, fails
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) January 31, 2020
Now the one remaining effort may be to try to employ Chief Justice John Roberts to break a tie if Murkowski were to vote yes.
And while some Democrats are calling on Roberts to break any 50-50 ties, Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, said that he is uncomfortable with the idea given the potential repercussions and precedent it would set.
“I don’t want Roberts voting,” he said. “That to me is pretty clear that the Constitution specifically gives the power to the vice president to break ties, it’s silent on that matter in an impeachment trial. Which leads me to the opinion that he’s not supposed to vote.”[….]
As for the question of whether the chief justice could break a tie if it were to occur, a report from the Congressional Research Service put it this way: “The Chief Justice, when presiding over an impeachment trial, would not be expected to vote, even in the case of a tie. If a vote on a question results in a tie, the question is decided in the negative.”
But assuming there are no surprising flips and presuming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has already accounted for that, they hopefully now should have the votes to block.
They may also then be able to take a final vote tomorrow to acquit as well and we might finally be done with this.
Thank God for Cocaine Mitch.
— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) January 31, 2020