Image: US Department of Energy

With the Senate scheduled to vote later today on whether to call witnesses and subpoena additional documents in Donald Trump's impeachment trial, Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander announced last night he's decided to vote against any more evidence, because there's simply "no need" to get any more information. On Twitter, Alexander explained the Senate knows all it needs to know; Trump, that scamp, made an "inappropriate" decision when he pushed Ukraine's president to smear a 2020 opponent, but we already knew that.

Why muddy the water with a lot of additional details that would only make Republicans look like bigger hypocrites when they inevitably vote to acquit Trump?

In a statement that was identical to the tweet thread, Alexander readily agreed the House managers had definitely shown that "the president withheld United States aid, at least in part, to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens," but he dismissed the second article of impeachment, obstruction of Congress, as "frivolous," because presidents have the "constitutional prerogative to protect confidential conversations with his close advisers."

Alexander offered some impressively pretzeled logic: Elected officials shouldn't "inappropriately interfere with such investigations" because it "undermines the principle of equal justice under the law." But golly, the Constitution never said a president could be removed from office for that, especially not with an election on the way.

In perhaps the most infuriating part of the whole mess, Alexander explained the Founders would be appalled by the lack of "bipartisanship," even when one party decides to unquestioningly cover for a corrupt president.

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.

Justin Amash, of course, doesn't count, because he was forced out of the GOP to make sure "not one House Republican" would make it a bipartisan vote. Thank goodness, because now Republicans can say they're simply fulfilling the grand intentions of the Founders, who warned of the nastiness and skulduggery that might result from an excess of partisanship. Far far better that a rogue "president" be allowed to act with impunity, because it's not like the framers of the Constitution had any concerns about runaway executive power.

For the Senate to hear testimony from witnesses, four Republicans would have to join the Democrats, or, as presiding officer in the trial, Chief Justice John Roberts could break a tie, like that's going to happen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said yesterday she supports calling witnesses, and aides to Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said he'll vote for witnesses as well. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), has still not said how she'll vote. No telling whether she'll go for "brave but pointless" or "spineless and less likely to be targeted by the Trump mob," especially now that Alexander appears to have driven the last spike into the Grand Cover-Up Railroad:

Alexander privately huddled with Murkowski during Thursday's dinner break, according to a senior Republican aide close to Alexander. The two lawmakers discussed where they are on witnesses but were not coordinating their final decision, the aide told NBC News.

The Senate could now vote to endorse Emperor Trump as early as this evening, and then it will be time to start working to vote out every last one of the complicit fuckers. Alexander is retiring, so hooray for him -- he can be satisfied with his eventual obituary highlighting only his deciding vote, not any electoral consequences for it.

[NBC News / Lamar Alexander press release / Just Security]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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