Sen. Lamar Alexander Says ‘No’ to Impeachment Witnesses

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In a statement released late Thursday, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said he will vote against having witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. Alexander was one of four Republican senators that Democrats were trying to convince to support extending impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate for at least another week in order to call the witnesses the House of Representatives failed to prior to delivering Articles of Impeachment two weeks ago.

Alexander posted his reasoning on Facebook.

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.

There is no need for more evidence to prove that the president asked Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter; he said this on television on October 3, 2019, and during his July 25, 2019, telephone call with the president of Ukraine. There is no need for more evidence to conclude that the president withheld United States aid, at least in part, to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens; the House managers have proved this with what they call a “mountain of overwhelming evidence.” There is no need to consider further the frivolous second article of impeachment that would remove the president for asserting his constitutional prerogative to protect confidential conversations with his close advisers.

It was inappropriate for the president to ask a foreign leader to investigate his political opponent and to withhold United States aid to encourage that investigation. When elected officials inappropriately interfere with such investigations, it undermines the principle of equal justice under the law. But the Constitution does not give the Senate the power to remove the president from office and ban him from this year’s ballot simply for actions that are inappropriate.

The question then is not whether the president did it, but whether the United States Senate or the American people should decide what to do about what he did. I believe that the Constitution provides that the people should make that decision in the presidential election that begins in Iowa on Monday.

The Senate has spent nine long days considering this “mountain” of evidence, the arguments of the House managers and the president’s lawyers, their answers to senators’ questions and the House record. Even if the House charges were true, they do not meet the Constitution’s ‘treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors’ standard for an impeachable offense.

The framers believed that there should never, ever be a partisan impeachment. That is why the Constitution requires a 2/3 vote of the Senate for conviction. Yet not one House Republican voted for these articles. If this shallow, hurried and wholly partisan impeachment were to succeed, it would rip the country apart, pouring gasoline on the fire of cultural divisions that already exist. It would create the weapon of perpetual impeachment to be used against future presidents whenever the House of Representatives is of a different political party.

Our founding documents provide for duly elected presidents who serve with “the consent of the governed,” not at the pleasure of the United States Congress.

Let the people decide.

After a long career in state and national politics, the veteran Republican is retiring at the end of his term in January, 2021.

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Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Star News Digital Media. If you have any tips, email Zachery at [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

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8 Thoughts to “Sen. Lamar Alexander Says ‘No’ to Impeachment Witnesses”

  1. […] colleagues he was referencing were Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander and Maine Senator Susan Collins who said they would be voting against impeachment witnesses. Both […]

  2. Robert Roark

    On what grounds is it inappropriate for a president to ask for an investigation of corruption by a foreign government to receive funding from the U.S.? In fact, it would be irresponsible to look the other way in such circumstances. It sounds like Alexander thinks Biden is above the law because he is a presidential contender. In fact, Trump is being charged with doing exactly what Biden did, yet there is no condemnation of Biden for doing so. Another example of the whacky thinking in the “greatest deliberative body” and its lower one.

  3. 83ragtop50

    Well, good ole Lamar got his moment of glory as he flames out of his too long career as a senator. It amazes me that the pundits are giving him credit for influencing other Republicrats to shun the idea of calling witnesses. He has dissed President Trump in a backhanded way by asserting that the President did wrong in attempting to get the corrupt Biden’s investigated. I am totally ashamed of Alexander. I only wish he had run not decided to retire from the Senate so we could have voted him out.

  4. James Forsythe

    My respect for Lamar just went up substantially! He helped stop the traitors in their tracks!

  5. Kalee

    Alexander retiring at the end of his term in January, 2021. It can’t happen fast enough. He’s been left-leaning for years now. At least he’s making the right decision, but for the wrong reasons. But if he were in favor of removing the President, there’s absolutely no leverage the people have with an elected official who is serving their LAST TERM IN OFFICE.

    THIS LACK OF LEVERAGE IS EXACTLY WHAT TERM LIMITS WOULD DO. Remember that.

    The Framers of the Constitution put built-in term limits in the document. They’re called ELECTIONS. And the people are responsible to vote them OUT! He’s still there after all these years and we have nobody to blame but OURSELVES, Tennessee!

    1. Silence Dogood

      Term limits are not the answer to folks like Lamar. The Tennessee Republican Party presented no better candidate during the Primaries. So who else would we have voted for is the problem. And sub 50% voter participation is another part.

  6. Kevin

    This is good news. Now if Lamar can keep his mouth closed for 10 more months maybe he can ride off into the sunset, and Tennessee can close this mediocre chapter in her history!

    It’s bad enough that some of us have to travel on the Lamar Alexander Parkway in Maryville, or enter the Lamar Alexander building in Memphis, and that all visitors have to view his portrait in the Tennessee capitol, imagine IF he in any way helps in removing the President that most of us voted for. How bad would this be?

    I guess if some Tennesseans can talk about “removing the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest” from the capitol, others could talk about renaming parkways, buildings or removing portraits!

  7. William Delzell

    It does not really matter if Alexander opposes providing any new witnesses as this impeachment inquest was doomed from the start. Pelosi and Schumer made the grave mistake of limiting the impeachment to whether or not Trump acted illegally in the Ukraine on matters pertaining to Hunter Biden.

    The House should have broadened the scope to deal with far more serious charges such as whether Trump committed war crimes by assassinating American citizens who were not charged with or convicted of any crime; plunging us into undeclared wars; supporting overseas thugs like Bolesnaro or the Bolivian coup that commits genocide against the indigenous, allowing ICE thugs to abuse alien children; detaining people in concentration camps like Guantanimo without charging them with anything; etc. But these serious charges one can also apply to previous presidents of both parties going all the way back to Truman’s reckless decision to plunge us into the Korean Quagmire of 1950–or even with earlier presidents. Our conservative Democrats like Pelosi and company are too scared to do this.

    By narrowing the scope of the impeachment trial, I fear that Trump will end up looking like a martyr. Another reason to oppose impeachment means that Mike Pence would become president, and he is far worse than Trump! I guess we will have to stick with Trump to keep the crazier vice-president away from the Oval Office.

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