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Dems Likely Short On Calling New Impeachment Witnesses: Collins (YES), Alexander (NO), Romney (Wants Bolton), Murkowski (thinking about it)

Dems Likely Short On Calling New Impeachment Witnesses: Collins (YES), Alexander (NO), Romney (Wants Bolton), Murkowski (thinking about it)

Even if Murkowski votes YES, it’s 50-50 and a Democrat motion to call new witnesses would fail unless some other Republican defects or Roberts casts a controversial tie-breaker.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfJlzrBL1Wo

The Q&A session just ended. Republican Maine Sen. Susan Collins wasted no time announcing she will vote yes on calling witnesses.

Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander will vote no.

*We will update this post as more senators announce their decisions.

Since she posted it on Twitter, all typed up and everything, it looks like she made the decision a while ago. Not shocked, honestly, since she hinted she wanted to hear from John Bolton.

The media made retiring Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander its wild card on the witness vote. He announced he will vote NO:

“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.”

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski told reporters she planned to go back to her office to “reflect on what” she heard in the 16-hour session. She showed them her two volumes of notes.

Murkowski will make a decision in the morning.

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney said that he wants to hear from Bolton.

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Comments

When you put a Woman in a power position, you wind up with pussy problems.
Like Collins, Murkowski and Romney.

    moonmoth in reply to snowshooze. | January 31, 2020 at 7:56 am

    Why are you in such a hurry to take the “Stupidly Offensive Moron of the Week” trophy back from CNN and Don Lemon? Or are you (and the five people who’ve given you up-votes as I write this) trying to prove him right?

    Virginia42 in reply to snowshooze. | January 31, 2020 at 8:41 am

    The Four Nitwits of the Senate.

Collins doesn’t upset me: She gained a lot of good will with me with her Kavanaugh support. Murkowski has always been a RINO..and the people of Alaska had other options they were presented, and wrote her name in anyway.

Romney is a different story. He presented himself as a conservative. Anything less than complete support of McConnell will be a massive betrayal. A wiser man would put aside his personal animus toward Trump, and vote the way his constituents would prefer on this matter.

    PrincetonAl in reply to Leslie Eastman. | January 30, 2020 at 11:51 pm

    This analysis is right. There is enough margin to give a hall pass to Collins to help her re-election in a purple state.

    But Romney is an utter waste from a deep red state. Murkowski is a RINO interested only in herself. She is horrid waste of a red state senator as well.

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to PrincetonAl. | January 31, 2020 at 9:05 am

      Let’s be blunt: Romney got elected because of his religion.

        Morning Sunshine in reply to The Friendly Grizzly. | January 31, 2020 at 9:29 am

        no. Anyone who ran – and won – in Utah would be the same religion. Romney won because he has “mormon celebrity” status for almost being president. He won because he “saved the Olympics.” Because he was Orrin Hatch’s hand-picked successor. He won because after we rid ourselves of Bennett, the GOP establishment in this state changed the rules so that we the people cannot defeat an establishment candidate again – they do NOT want another Mike Lee.

        There are plenty of Mormon Democrats…

    Mitt is a ‘severe conservative’.

      oldgoat36 in reply to rdmdawg. | January 31, 2020 at 6:07 am

      He only plays one on TV. Mittens isn’t a conservative, he is a RINO who saw a chance to have more power to go against Trump in Congress. Defectors from the Democrats are more conservative than he ever was.

    Collins is going to be skewered either way she votes. What she should do is vote her conscience and since she is a Republican, her conscience should also take into consideration the reasons she is a Republican in the first place and the damage her vote would inflict on her party.

    However she votes, she can’t win so she should disclose her true reasons and avoid the “I just want to hear from Bolton” dodge. If she is a true leader, she should be honest with her voters. This is the worst time to be a cowardly, slimy, squishy politician.

    She might have gained some goodwill with her Kavanaugh vote. But it was still very calculated to not upset any liberals. And her continued betrayal of Constitutional, fiscal, and legal conservative positions irks me to no end.

    She will happily throw Republicans under the base to gain points with her prog constituents. (There are conservative Mainiacs, but they live way up north and don’t have enough pull to achieve much.)

      GWB in reply to GWB. | January 31, 2020 at 9:03 am

      Oh, and meant to say, she’ll now waste that political capital on this vote, and end up right back where she was – RINO.

    Romney has always been a QUISLING as with Leopards Quislings don’t change. IMO he doesn’t just hate President Trump he also hates those who support our President and will do what every he needs to do to get even.

If witnesses are called and no Biden, Pelosi, Schiff, etc. are included at a bare minimum then the GOP has utterly failed in fighting fire with fire and should blow up the old model of “swamp/GOPe way” for a Renaissance.

The sad part is that not a single one of us will be surprised when some closeted “principled conservative” crawls out from the woodwork to support “witnesses”.

In the end, OrangeManStillBad.

This is all grandstanding. Nobody on either side really wants witnesses because that would mean days and days of sitting there listening to them yammer.

I predict there will be no witnesses but there will be lots of fundraising off of the issue.

If the witness vote is 50-50 how will Roberts vote? Or will he abstain? If he votes Yes will he recuse if Exec. Priv. goes to SCOTUS? Interesting times.

Does Romney actually believe Bolton would be allowed to testify? Trump actually has a good case of executive privilege with him.

    That’s why Schiff didn’t allow administration lawyers in with most of the 17 other witnesses. They keep saying inconvenient things like, “That question falls squarely within Executive Privilege, and my client will not answer it.” The thing is that works for witnesses who *hate* Trump too, and Schiff didn’t care about any long-term damage to the institution as long as he got his tiny little fleck of advantage.

Jerry? Jerry!? Jerry!!?

The dems still control the House. When this fails, they should all get back into the clown car and go at it again with Impeachment II. I mean, if at first you don’t succeed, ….

C’mon Nancy, go for it!

    oldgoat36 in reply to walls. | January 31, 2020 at 6:12 am

    I don’t see them trying this again unless they have something they can spin as a real crime. Trying it again, despite Il Duce Pelosi saying “we’ll see” and having it go the same way would only help Trump with gaining back the House. Getting the House which is possible but a long shot given the numbers would end Pelosi being in power.

      Lucifer Morningstar in reply to oldgoat36. | January 31, 2020 at 8:51 am

      Oh please, once this farce of an impeachment fails in the Senate the democrats will try for impeachment again. They can’t do otherwise. For to just give it up will be an acknowledgement by the democrats that Pres. Trump is the lawfully and legally elected president and that he has done nothing wrong. So be prepared to go through this whole process again. And again. And again until the acceptable outcome occurs. The removal of Pres. Trump from office. And when that’s accomplished prepare for the democratic insanity as they try to remove Pence from office. It’ll never end with the democrats.

    moonmoth in reply to walls. | January 31, 2020 at 8:13 am

    Yes, Nancy — go for it! Who wouldn’t want a matched set of your “impeachment pens”?

Guys;
You just have to check this out.
This is Jay Sekulow, Council to President Trump.
I could not believe it to start with… but I watched several more… it’s true.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-syMTEbACVU

What is the constitutional rationale for the Chief Justice being the tie breaker? It would be a hung jury so prosecution failed to make its case! Case dismissed!

Will the Dems really want to start over in the House?

    There is none. Roberts can’t vote. This one’s pretty easy to answer. The Constitution states, “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.” “The Senate” consists of the 100 Senators. If the vote of 51 Senators votes isn’t t obtained, say because the vote tally is 50-50, then the proposal fails to carry. Roberts simply presides; because he isn’t a Senator, he can’t participate.

    In the case of a tie on a bill, the VP is permitted to cast a vote to break the tie solely because the Constitution expressly permits that.

      Two things. (BTW, I don’t disagree with your reply at all).

      1. The idea that Roberts would cast a “controversial tie-breaker” was posited by Mary Chastain. Considering Roberts’ history of overstepping his constitutional reach (rewriting ObamaCare to be a tax e.g.), what if he does so again?

      2. I have read/listened to several discussions about Pence being the tie-breaker. Many believe he would recuse himself due to his being the next in line to replace Trump. I am in the camp that because the impeachment process is entirely political by design, the entire Senate would have to recuse themselves if that were the standard. It’s Trump’s political advantage. Has anyone heard anything about Pence indicate whether he would cast the tie breaker if it came to that?

        Joe-dallas in reply to Pasadena Phil. | January 31, 2020 at 9:10 am

        Does Roberts or Pence get a vote if there is a tie.

        Roberts would not get a vote – He presides over the trial but would not get a vote. Pence might get a vote – He is not a member of the senate, but he remains president of the senate and would appear to get a vote in case of a tie under section 4.

        Article 1 section 4: The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

        Article 1 section 6: The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

        To Pasadena Phil: As much as I would have liked to have seen Obamacare struck down as a policy and political matter, it was clear to me, for months before the decision came out, that calling it a tax despite Congress’s denial that it was a tax – based on what it did and how it functioned – was a plausible and completely constitutional theory, not one that was so compelling that it was undeniable, but one that was within the realm of textual interpretation. So it’s not constitutional overreach. It might even be defended as nonactivism, based on the proposition that the job of a judge is not to overturn laws unless there is absolutely no plausible constitutional basis for them.

          The reason Congress would not call it a tax bill was because it originated in the Senate. All spending bills MUST originate in the House. So they found a House spending bill and gutted it to make it the vehicle for pushing this forward. It was then sent into conference committee where Pelosi declared it to “deemed” approved.

          So when the attorney presenting ObamaCare to the SCOTUS made such a hash of explaining its legality, Edwards interceded, declared to be a tax bill and rewrote sections to make that clear. That is NOT the way things are supposed to work. It was unconstitutional from its creation to its adoption. Corruption incarnate. There is no defense for this and Edwards has never been held to account. That is his MO.

I doubt Roberts would agree to be a tie breaking vote, he is to concerned about his image.

    moonmoth in reply to Gremlin1974. | January 31, 2020 at 8:09 am

    If Roberts did cast a tie-breaking vote, where would the legality of that vote be decided? It shouldn’t be in the Supreme Court (of which Roberts is Chief Justice), so I guess The View would have to make the ruling.

So with a tie, both sides get talking points.

Not sure what Romney gets, but his hatred of Trump is not political.

He is up to his eyeballs in Ukraine.

Lucifer Morningstar | January 31, 2020 at 8:16 am

Since when did Roberts get to be the “tie breaker” if a tie occurs. He’s not a member of the Senate and shouldn’t be allowed to vote on this procedural matter. So if the vote is a 50-50 tie then it should be considered a “No” vote and the Senate should then get on with voting on each Article of Impeachment.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Lucifer Morningstar. | January 31, 2020 at 9:19 am

    If there is a tie, and Roberts – correctly – does not try to cast a vote, the snowflakes and Democrats will yell their heads off. Something about fairness.

Would CJ break a tie (either way)?

PRO:

1. Absent authority, presiding officers often are assumed to have that power. If the Senate objects, they can overrule him, but in a partisan question like this, that too might be a tie.

2. CJ Chase did so in the Johnson impeachment teial, so there is precedent.

3. It’s only a procedure issue, not guilt or innocence.

CON:

1. He is not required to and may not have the authority, so the path of least resistance is to decline.

2. Everything here is a partisan issue, and getting involved could hurt the Supreme Court.

3. The body agreed to rules at the outset that did not provide for a tiebreaker.

4. The defense has stipulated that even if Bolton says X, the President is not guilty, so no real reason to call him other than, as Schiff said yesterday, “so the American people can hear,” i.e. to affect the elections, not relevant to the proceeding.

My guess is that CJ Roberts would decline to break a tie, and that someone will hold a press conference and say that Schiff remains free to call Bolton in a House oversight hearing and deal with the courts regarding executive privilege. Maybe Ms. Maxine thinks Bolton has something relevant to banking.

WSJ:
Readers are invited to opine on which one of the following scenarios represents the greatest threat to American liberty:

A) After identifying a U.S. citizen volunteering for the U.S. presidential campaign of the party out of power, the FBI makes false claims and persuades a federal court that the citizen may be a Russian agent and should be subjected to electronic surveillance.

B) After observing a U.S. citizen obtain a Ukrainian company board seat for which he was manifestly unqualified while his father was running Ukrainian policy for the U.S. government – and in which capacity the father would later demand the firing of a local prosecutor investigating the son’s business associates – the U.S. President urges the government of Ukraine to investigate.

This column is struggling to recall a more serious allegation of abuse of our democratic process by officials of the federal government.

Article upon article upon article fretting about GOP defectors working against the general GOP agenda in the Senate. Why are there never any defectors from the Democrats? The count is always taking away from the GOP votes, but there are never any additions from the other side.

Why are we so horrible at getting our message across?

    bhwms in reply to ss396. | January 31, 2020 at 10:24 am

    Or horrible about selecting our candidates.

    In many states, the primary system is rigged for “moderates” (RINOs). For example, in NH, Republicans can vote in the Republican primary, Democrats can vote in the Democrat primary, and Independents (Undeclared) can vote in either. We know that a huge number of the Independents are really Democrats who meddle in the Republican primaries. There are substantially fewer Republicans/Conservatives who are Independent – and most of them are because they believe the GOP is too GOPe.

    Second, for a conservative, the nature of how you build a coalition to win starts with the conservative base (pro-life, pro-national defense, pro-veteran, anti-spending) and builds to the middle. The moderates start in the middle and say just enough conservative things to get the conservatives to not abandon them wholesale.

    Then they do something stupid repeatedly, like Senator Ayotte listening too much to John McCain, and the conservatives abandoned her.

I too am fed up with Susan Collins–the perfect RINO. But I am most disappointed with Bolton.
He has legitimate grounds for being pissed off at Trump–but to play into the hands of the Democratic scum who detest him is stupid. He will–like McCain by his saving Obama care–will go down in history as turncoats.

Their overwhelming case of opinion. innuendo, and outright lies needs more witnesses to be believable!

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