Update (5:45 p.m.): The Senate has voted to not to call new witnesses in the impeachment of President Trump. The vote was 51 to 49.
As reported earlier, leaders from both parties agreed on a Wednesday vote to acquit or convict Trump as late as Wednesday.
Preview of Sunday morning talk shows:
Liberals, meltdown!😂 pic.twitter.com/VwDjDKojCE— Boric Brine (@Boric_Brine) January 31, 2020
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Update (1:20 p.m.): President Trump's impeachment trial will be extended until Wednesday according to journalist Paul Sperry and confirmed by Fox News.
BREAKING: Senate impeachment trial extended to WEDNESDAY— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) January 31, 2020
The news comes after the New York Times got some extra mileage out of John Bolton's new book, which claims that Trump's efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating the Bidens began 'earlier than known.'
Why didn’t The New York Times release this information in its initial report on Sunday when it first reported on what was allegedly in the book? https://t.co/wDyHmWNggU— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) January 31, 2020
Yet, despite the pressure campaign to flip undecided Republicans to the Democrats' demand for witnesses, holdout Sen. Lisa Murkowski is now a 'no' on calling witnesses, virtually ensuring President Trump will be acquitted within the next week.
BREAKING: GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski: "I carefully considered the need for additional witnesses and documents, to cure the shortcomings of its process, but ultimately decided that I will vote against considering motions to subpoena." https://t.co/8dPFKZkZJk pic.twitter.com/HB83VKLKcc— ABC News (@ABC) January 31, 2020
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It looks like Hunter Biden can sleep well at night in his $12,000 per month Hollywood home after Politico reports that the GOP has enough Republican Senators to block witnesses in President Trump's impeachment trial.
Democrats needed at least four Republicans to defect - two of which they found in Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine (who was mercilessly flamed by conservatives over social media) - however an 11th hour 'no' decision by Lamar Alexander (R-TN) means that the decision would fall to Chief Justice John Roberts in the event of a tie. And Roberts may not even have to weigh in if the fourth potential GOP defector, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, votes 'no' as well.
In a Thursday night Twitter thread, Alexander says "There is no need for more evidence to prove that the president asked Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter..." and that "the president withheld United States aid, at least in part, to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens."
Still, Alexander argues that while Trump acted inappropriately, "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." He also reasons that "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," Alexander continued. "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."
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. 8/15— Sen. Lamar Alexander (@SenAlexander) January 31, 2020
While the outcome will allow Republicans to put a bow on the affair, expect Democrats and their MSM amplifiers to cry foul over the 'rigged farce' while parroting distributed talking points.
And while Democrats may fume over not being able to hear from John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney and other current and former White House employees regarding Trump's conduct with Ukraine, Republicans hoping for a nervous Hunter Biden and a CIA operative 'whistleblower' to take the stand, will be equally disappointed.
Meanwhile, Susan Collins has taken a ration of flack over social media for essentially virtue signaling to the Democrats when she (likely) knew Alexander would be a 'no' - and the battle over Bolton and the Bidens was never going to happen.
It’s a ruse. I’m over her. I don’t trust her.— PeaceLove&Outrage ☮️💕😡 (@1980Dorothy) January 31, 2020
No one in your state is being served by dragging this out further— Jack Posobiec🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) January 31, 2020
Do the right thing for the people, Senator
The fact that Collins needed weeks of soul-searching and melodrama to decide that dorky teen Brett Kavanaugh probably didn't mastermind a human trafficking ring was a big warning sign.— Helsingor (@Helsingor) January 31, 2020
EPIC FAIL!— ☤𝓢𝒌𝓪𝓲☤ (@Ravagiing) January 31, 2020
You have FAILED in your duty to protect the constitution and 63Million people.
The fact that you felt the need to put out a statement to justify your ridiculous BS is in itself pathetic and weak!
Let's see how Maine Republicans feel about Collins in November.