A final vote in the Senate on Donald Trump is on track to take place Friday, where the president is expected to be acquitted in the Republican-controlled chamber.
Republican Senator Lamar Alexander announced Thursday evening he would vote against calling additional witnesses, which likely doomed Democrats’ efforts to call former National Security Adviser John Roberts to testify.
With no witnesses, senators are expected to wrap up the trial when they meet on Friday afternoon.
‘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,’ Alexander said in a statement.
‘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,’ he said.
‘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,’ Alexander noted.
Republican Senator Susan Collins said in statement Thursday evening she will vote to call witnesses, making her the first GOP lawmaker to break ranks and join the Democrats.
That leaves Republican Senators Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski as question marks. Romney has said he wants to hear from more witnesses. Murkowski is not showing her hand.
But even if both are yes that would make it a 50-50 vote on the matter. Democrats needed four Republicans in order to call additional witnesses.
Meanwhile the Republican leadership is working on a plan to combat a tie vote when the matter comes before the chamber on Friday.
A resolution being discussed that would nullify a tie, a scenario Republicans have been concerned about. A 50-50 vote would hand the decision over to the presiding officer in the Senate, who is Chief Justice John Roberts.
‘I think we’ll avoid it,’ Republican Senator Mike Braun told reporters during a dinner break.
Roberts would not answer a question from DailyMail.com when he left the Capitol on Thursday as to whether he would vote on witnesses if it was a 50-50 tie.
The witness vote is expected to be the last matter senators vote on before they move to debate whether or not to convict President Trump.
‘Tomorrow’s the big day,’ Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said as he left the Capitol Thursday evening.
‘This is really the game day tomorrow. It’s not the Super Bowl,’ Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar told reporters in the Capitol.
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Source: Daily Mail