Dems Suffer Defeat As GOP Stays Strong, Votes Down Extra Witnesses Making Acquittal Matter of Time

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The Senate on Friday officially handed the Democrats the first big loss in the impeachment debacle. There will be a bigger blow coming as soon when Trump is acquitted.

The GOP, or enough of them, held strong and stayed together and beat back the Dems efforts to call more witnesses.

The vote was 51 to 49 against hearing witnesses. The next steps are in discussion – Trump cold be acquitted as early as today, as late as Wednesday.

From Axios:

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) voted to call witnesses, as she announced she would Thursday.

What she’s saying: “I believe hearing from certain witnesses would give each side the opportunity to more fully and fairly make their case, resolve any ambiguities, and provide additional clarity.”

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) sided with Democrats and voted to call witnesses.

What he’s saying, per the NYT: “I think of this as an inflection point, politically in our country,” he said. “It’s a constitutional issue. I feel a sense of deep responsibility to abide by the Constitution, to determine — absent the pulls from the right and the pulls from the left — what is the right thing to do?”

Murkowski (R-Alaska) voted against additional witnesses, saying earlier Friday she doesn’t “believe the continuation of the process will change anything.”

What she’s saying: “Given the partisan nature of this impeachment from the very beginning and throughout, I have come to the conclusion that there will be no fair trial in the Senate. … It is sad for me to admit, as an institution, Congress has failed.”

Alexander (R-Tenn.) voted against calling for additional witnesses, as he announced he would Thursday night.

What he’s saying: “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 U.S. Constitution’s high bar for an impeachable offense.”