Lamar Alexander, Key G.O.P. Senator, Plans to Oppose Move for New Evidence

The Tennessee Republican said House Democrats had proved that President Trump withheld military aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rival but that this was not impeachable.

Comments: 245

  1. Howard Baker is rolling over in his grave.

  2. Alexander says the case has been made but it is not impeachable? Here, wrong matters

  3. He could hold the position to acquit. That’s ok. But to vote against witnesses is indefensible.

  4. That's it, then. We don't have a republic anymore. We have a dictatorship.

  5. @Ethan Henderson apparently "voters should decide" is now a dictatorship??? Your claim strikes me as ridiculous.

  6. @Ethan Henderson Well, let us not get ahead of ourselves. What we have is an aspiring authoritarian movement (GOP) that can still be stopped by the people. It is, however, very important to keep in mind that none of the underlying problems will go away overnight even if Trump loses the election. This will be a rough decade and I cannot tell you where we will be by the end of it. We can only hope for the best and work towards it.

  7. @Paul Dejean Voters did decide. It was Hilary who won the popular vote.

  8. The punchline of the impeachment “trial”...nobody is above the law!

  9. What a surprise our so-called leaders fail to do the right thing otherwise known as business as usual for the selectively-ignorant and totally evil GOP.

  10. Good. Can we move to more pressing issues in this country like our crumbling infrastructure, or student loan crisis?

  11. @Jaime Rodriguez There actually NOTHING more important than the guarantee of free elections in a democracy. A President who repeatedly seeks to undermine free elections is unfit. You are winking at the end of the balance of powers.

  12. How? Trump only builds walls and his own bank accounts.

  13. @Jaime Rodriguez I’m sure those two items are at the top of the list of things Trump wishes to address now that this pesky impeachment is over.

  14. I officially give up.

  15. @Patricia Gallery That's what they hope you'll do. Don't fall for it. Vote Blue and make sure your friends and family do as well. It is depressing. It takes work. We have to "keep it" for Mr. Franklin.

  16. @BD No, a promise is a future-tense statement. The English language has basically three tenses ...

  17. @Patricia Gallery Never give up. It may feel bad tonight, I know, but this is a good fight, worth fighting. We have been thrust into history, each and every one of us, and rather than looking outward for a cure, we need to go no further than ourselves. I’ve been giving small donations to candidates and nonprofits, but I don’t think that will suffice anymore, so I’ve been thinking of other ways to up my participation. Phone banking? I’ve been getting e-mails asking for help. I’ve never done it before. Maybe now’s the time. This is a battle and it will have good days and bad. I think I’m on the right side and that sustains me. For one thing, the side I’m on doesn’t rely on lies, intimidation and misinformation to score points. More essentially, though, it holds closer to the national ideals I was taught were important, and as I look at the world, I can see are critical to preserve and maintain. Are we lucky to live in these interesting times? I wouldn’t go that far. But I feel a stirring and an awareness, an invigoration, a sense of being present in the moment, like maybe those who lived in pivotal times before felt. A call has gone out, urgent and clear. We are asked to respond. May we meet on the battlefield, and later, tested and proven, worn and proud, at the sunnier celebration.

  18. R.I.P. American democracy. You will be missed.

  19. @Michael -- not to worry. They'll soon have the History books all properly straightened out.

  20. @Michael This is exactly what we predicted would happen with the Citizens’s United decision .... some people say the Republican party is a cult under Trump’s spell... but really they are a cult of money ...With untold millions slipping into their fingers from untold sources in unlimited amounts possibly from countries all over the world, is it any surprise Mitch McConnell keeps them all in line and gives them their marching orders ? The type of favor Trump asked Zelensky to do is the type of favor they are in fact given every day by their dark money sources in who knows what countries...Mulvaney tells us to “get over it, “ and so do the Trump supporters, who are unwittingly cheering our republic‘s demise ... All the soldiers of the confederacy who screamed the rebel yell upon their deaths in the battlefield seem to have risen again tonight in this horrible coup of the Republican party ..... The legacy of slavery upon which this country was created will continue to punish us all until these demons are defeated and confronted once and for all ... which starts with removing dark money from our politics, getting rid of gerrymandering and voter suppression tactics, and having an honest conversation about how best to make reparations for the stolen , slave-driven wealth that has created an unbroken line of succession of ill -begotten wealth that has just continue to snowball through the decades, still held by a small cabal of the wealthy and privileged .,,

  21. It is interesting to see that for many Senators, the trial party roles have reversed: The House members are on the defense, and the President's lawyers are litigating for constitutional law violations or inadequacies brought against the House democrats. It's working.

  22. Welcome to the Trump-land Banana Republic. Where the rule of law was strangled by the 'World's Greatest Deliberative Body.'

  23. @OgataOkiOwl United States of America 2.0

  24. The republican party has lined up behind a corrupt thug. They will have to double down now, and that includes banning the history books that will document their role in embracing autocracy and lawlessness. It's pretty shocking to see the Chief Justice preside over a show trial that would have done Stalin proud.

  25. Citizens United, it turns out, was not Justice Roberts’ biggest disgrace to the Court and his profession.

  26. Roberts doesn’t care about justice, the rule of law or the Constitution. He is a political hack. Now the whole world knows it. Honorable people have no choice but to leave this once great nation. The fight has been lost. America put down your phones and face the truth. Patriots have been to passive in fighting this outrage.

  27. If Senator Alexander is correct that: • The House Managers overwhelmingly proved that President Trump solicited help in the upcoming election by withholding military aid; and • This is not an impeachable offense, The logical result would be for him to author two constitutional amendments as follows: • The executive branch cannot command testimony or documents from the executive branch through subpoena or any other means. • The presidency is an office that is no longer subject to impeachment; and the only means of involuntary removal will be invoking the 25th amendment.

  28. @Mark Keller -- did you mean, 'the [Legislative] branch cannot command testimony or documents from the executive branch through subpoena or any other means'?

  29. @Mark Keller Donald is going to want an amendment that says the POTUS serves for life, and the office is hereditary.

  30. @Willy P Yes

  31. We are witnessing the attempted murder of American democracy. The GOP has tried everything: poison injected into the body politic by mass media propaganda, death-by-a-thousand-cuts in the form of voter suppression, the sabotage method of gerrymandering, and the starvation method of wealth transfers to the rich. This time, they may have finally succeeded in killing it. Lamar Alexander's duplicitous statement marks the moment when the Republican Party refused to hold to account — indeed, knowingly supported — the most venal, criminal administration in the nation’s history, the attempted final suffocation of our republic. The outright lies, red herrings and gross distortions offered up by White House lawyers at the impeachment proceeding all indicate jaw-dropping arrogance and cynicism, and no regard whatsoever for fundamental American principles. Where there once was some semblance of democracy, freedom and equality, a corrupt and brutal oligarchy is rising. I’ve never seen anything like it in my 70+ years. We might, just might, have one last chance to resuscitate the victim in November. But who knows what other tactics the GOP will use to make sure that doesn’t happen; I’m not optimistic.

  32. @Critical Rationalist The GOP, considers failed attempts at: corruption, bribery, robbery, murder, etc., to not count because in their minds the crime didn't occur if the attempt failed.

  33. @Critical Rationalist And this is especially true since many of the same Republicans were out to get Clinton for lying about having sex with an intern. They said that was an impeachable offense. I agree Clinton’s behavior was totally inappropriate and he shouldn’t have lied about it, but Trump lies about everything. And he tried to shake down a country to open an investigation into a political rival. Apples and oranges. We need to vote them all out. Our democracy depends upon it.

  34. @Critical Rationalist I'm pretty optimistic based on our 2018 election results. But even if you're not, get out and work the election! The only thing worse than being defeated is going down without a fight!

  35. If you believe he did the wrongful act then what about the massive lying to the American people about it? This stinks to high heaven. If the Republicans lowered the bar any more for President we’d be in Adolf country.

  36. @Mike, sadly, the gate to that realm is coming into focus.

  37. @Mike That is precisely what country America is in now.

  38. @Mike Assume he is or the people supporting him are such. Tyrants have a habit of disappearing violently and a more cruel one appearing behind them. Vote the most aggressive democrats and progressives possible in. We need people that will fight back as best as we can. Their end game is revealed. Republicans seek autocracy by using the senate as a block and rule via the executive branch by allowing them to do whatever they desire.

  39. Putin wins. Fight while you can.

  40. @Mary O'Connell : Russia doesn't have a 2nd Amendment. They need to think about that, these rally goers that love Putin because he's so 'strong'.

  41. There’s a question I just keep wondering about: what if this surreal nightmare does NOT end in November on Election Day? What then? Try as I might, I can’t escape the constant onslaught of destruction to any remaining democratic principles this country was supposed to stand for. Trump’s stench has permeated EVERYTHING. What if it doesn’t end in 10 months?

  42. @ManhattanWilliam If the economy is doing well, people will forgive a lot of things but when it tanks, that's when people will kick him out. They will blame him when the situation is obvious but no earlier. It'll be like Bush 2. And likely a new figure like Obama will rise up in 2024. I think he'll likely lose in 2020. Same as in 2016 but you know the difference between 40 and 60% isn't that big especially with the electoral college.

  43. This prospect is frightening and I don’t even live there. I’m reluctantly realizing that if that comes to pass I will need to give up on trying to be informed (of US news) and give up on America.

  44. @ManhattanWilliam Have a plan to leave. Our lives will be under threat. Republicans have placed 1/5 of the judges in the US and we cannot trust them to properly hold anyone of authority accountable. They will instead hold us in violation and silence our voices.

  45. Senator Lamar Alexander is almost 80 years old, and has been in Congress almost 17 years, and he obviously wants to go out as an asset (the definition of the word asset is a useful or valuable thing, person, or quality) to Russia. Russia did interfere in our 2016 election in a number of ways, which has been proven by a number of people going to jail who are close to DT, and using Facebook to suppress the African American vote. This is more than disgusting, it is dangerous, and the fact that Senator Alexander, will always be remembered as probably the last, or one of the last holdouts, to not restrain DT, and his emotionally unstable personality, who is at the helm of world events in a time of middle east instability, the corona virus outbreak in the world, the ongoing climate issues, and likely interference in the 2020 election.

  46. @MaryKayKlassen In your view is suppression of the vote the same as interference in the voting ? Why not invoke the 25th Amendment ?

  47. Et Tu, Lamar? But you did not read the play. Are you enabling a Caesar?

  48. It's not like there aren't about a hundred other laws Trump has broken. I say drag him through it again, and this time throw the book at him.

  49. @WJBrock -- BINGO. And when they throw that book, we'd better not Miss this time.

  50. @WJBrock Yes, this Impeachment was backwards. Democrats found one little secret attack on the Constitution and made a big complicated case over it. The real danger, and the real case for removal is Trump's constant contradictions, threats to violate, and actual violations of the Constitution that he commits ON TELEVISION. I have listed them again and again, but the most important examples is how calls for political violence against citizens without due process. When the President can say, "someone should beat that guy up," debate and voting are replaced with state terror. Nixon wanted to get away with things in secret, but had enough respect for the Constitution to resign once his crimes became pubic. Trump attacks the Constitution in public, because that is how the dictators that he emulates ended their Constitutions to make themselves "president for life." Impeachment is not about the act. It is about the INTENT behind the act. It is the CONTEXT of the entire Trump presidency that process Trump's INTENT is too weaken all limits on his power. Democrats focused like a laser on the irrelevant instead of burying Trump under his mountain of pubic attacks on the Constitution. There is only a few months left. Make the case!

  51. I can just see these comments if this was Obama! I’m having to apologize that I’m a republican.

  52. @Kevin Bitz Being a republican means never having to say you’re sorry.

  53. @Kevin Bitz, being a Republican means you always have to say you're sorry. (And this would NEVER be Obama. Ever.)

  54. @Kevin Bitz "I’m having to apologize that I’m a republican." You can change that. And you don't have to change your core beliefs. Your party left you.

  55. Along with wishing Senator Lamar Alexander a healthy and happy retirement, we should all be preparing for 10 months of unfettered and possibly unhinged autocratic behavior from President Trump.

  56. @Mark Keller Ten months? He will never give up power after he is acquitted. No matter what the election results. He will lose BIG and then he'll have Barr declare the results "suspicious" or "corrupt." He will call for new elections when he feels satisfied the procedure is safe. Spoiler Alert: That will never happen. Welcome to Oligarchs for a Profitable United States. Instead of E Pluribus Unum it will read Quid Pro Quo.

  57. @Jenifer That's what the Republicans said about Obama. Different people I know but let's see. So far in 2018 and 2019 things have gone against the Rs. So 2020 may continue along these lines. I think our country has become very unwieldy.

  58. @Jenifer : When do you think he'll put his face on all the money?

  59. The Republicans have taken the stance that a president coercing a foreign government to interfere in our elections is merely "inappropriate". In what way, any way, have they given the signal to the American people this won't happen again? They haven't. Instead, they have essentially told the American people "if you don't want a president to use tax money to suppress the vote of his political opponents, vote him out". A convenient position when you're not the target and can only benefit from it. There is literally nothing stopping Trump from doing this again, and I fear that the Republican party is openly inviting it. "Do you want a fair democracy? Win the election then." A sad time for our country.

  60. @Eddie Not true: Only one Republican, the most courageous, finds this inappropriate. The other ones are perfectly fine with it.

  61. @Eddie Maybe I have completely missed the boat on how any foreign government interfered in our elections. Someone revealed that Hillary had her own private server while Secretary of State. That is Hillary's fault is it not. Someone tried to reveal all the emails on that server, again Hillary's fault. If you do not think a foreign government or hacker should have done so, so close to Election Day, then vote for Hillary. If you felt Hillary demonstrated she placed her self above rules, regulations and the law, then don't vote for Hillary, you don't have to vote for Trump. Whence the interference that made the difference ?

  62. @John Brown yes, you have completely missed the boat. You may have missed that Hillary is not running for office, and the argument "but her emails" is beyond old. Hillary's personal server was not hacked, and no classified information was compromised. Trump and his staff use their private phones for government business, which is also a security violation. But all of that has nothing to do with the issues covered in this article.

  63. Trump's team argue, successfully, that Trump had every right to withhold the aid and that the Burisma affair was reason enough for him to do so. They omit how he did it, they omit the extortion, the fact that he removed an ambassador that could, and probably would, have made his extortion more difficult. That he, simply put, held US aid hostage in order to blackmail a president of an allied nation in order to get dirt on a political opponent. To "get dirt on Biden". I think that the Democrats failed to take apart the defence's narrative, they spoke as if common sense was important, as if the senators had listened to them, as if the senators, and the TV viewers, had followed the house hearings. As if the senators were really impartial. The WH lawyers, on the other hand, kept to what their 53 senators wanted to hear, regardless of what the question was, regardless of how the timeline actually was and regardless if what they said was true or not. That is a winning strategy. There will be 4 more years with Donald Trump.

  64. @Truthseeker I don't think so. Demographics have changed. If the Democrats get out the Vote in Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan and nominate Amy K as VP, they might win in Iowa and Wisconsin and Arizona and maybe Texas.

  65. @Truthseeker The Republican lawyers could have babbled for 18 hours about oatmeal, and Lamar Alexander would still use that as an excuse for acquittal and not hearing witnesses. There was nothing the Democrats could say that would not be ignored by most of the Republicans.

  66. I find it absolutely head spinning that the same man can argue for the importance of originalism in judicial affairs while arguing that the senate has no role in addressing inappropriate executive action. What exactly is the point of a senate, again?

  67. Trump is going to bring back land mines because he can. America has given Trump the unfettered powers of the dictators that Trump envies and loves. Out of 53 senators maybe two will ask for witnesses while none of them think he is guilty of anything.

  68. If the Republican Party proceeds as expected tomorrow, and votes to acquit in the next two days, they will prove what we all have feared: they are more interested in raw power than in democracy itself.

  69. They've been working on it for decades.

  70. @Mark Keller just like the democratic party. If the roles and parties were reversed the democrats would be doing the exact same thing. There is a reason congress has a sub 20% approval rating.

  71. Now is the time for term limits. Term limits will remove the appeal of politics for the power-hungry control freaks; force government to work for the people (not for themselves); and it’ll go a long way towards getting money out of politics. IMHO

  72. “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 second time in history the Republican Party claims the rule of law to be invalid "during an election year." The Constitution authorizes Congress to impeach a corrupt president full stop, regardless of the year he's held to account for his abuses of power. In the same way, the same document authorizes the Senate to vote on a Supreme Court nominee even "during an election year." It does not say "but not during an election year" or "but not if the nominating President is black." The Republican Party. Your four-year rule of law warranty actually expires a year before the election -- but only if he's a lawless Republican. Too bad about your little republic.

  73. @raven55 The Constitution says nothing about the voters voting out presidents who do wrong. Its remedy for that is impeachment and removal.

  74. @David Weintraub, voting for all Democrats in November is our last and only hope, unless, of course, Trump finds a way to cancel or nullify the election. As someone else noted, now that it looks like he'll skate, we ain't seen nothin' yet. Let's see if there's really a God. Pray for a surprise or four in the final vote.

  75. @David Weintraub Agreed. This is the proper tool. Not the election.

  76. We can thank Alan Dershowitz for giving Senator Alexander (and maybe others) a plausible reason to vote to block witnesses (and also to vote for acquittal).

  77. @RandyJ, I disagree; Dershowitz's position is totally antithetical to everything American. It isn't a plausible reason, it's an excuse for cover. Whatever happened to Alan Dershowitz?!?

  78. @RandyJ You mean implausible, but Trump-fearing Republicans don't care whether it's plausible or implausible.

  79. @RandyJ Sounds like a fine idea to me. Thank You Professor Dershowitz, and, Sincerely!!!

  80. He broke law. Yes it is impeachable. This is exactly what the founders actually talked about foreign entanglements. So we have a federalist society running the justice department that promotes unitary executive theory, aka autocracy, exonerating based on the philosophy that the office of the President is above the law. He was guilty of obstruction with Mueller. And Mueller wasn’t able to clear him on conspiracy especially because of the obstruction. He caused this by shouting in public to have Russia help him asking for aid. They did help him and broke in illegally to computer systems. They were also all over his campaign with contacts. His arrogant defenders claiming the democrats are out to get him the whole time while the literarily brazenly sets off a million fireworks saying his is working with Russia. But democrats are partisan in their biased eyes. Now we have Parnas, a Russian, hanging with Trump trying to bring corruption back to Ukraine with dirty schemes surrounding trumps personal lawyer to abuse authority and get themselves set up with a sweet corrupt deal while casting shade on Biden. There only block to the investigation is an ambassador doing her job and not playing info their schemes. So Trump says to get rid of her. They text message as if they have a hit on her a d the ambassador is recalled for fear of threats to her life by Trumps administration. All the while the Senate destroys the house subpoenas ability to properly investigate.

  81. @Mathias Good summary.

  82. I think it will be very close. I wonder if Roberts will abstain, I would if I were him. Wonderful picture by Alyssa Schukar of the Senate Aide. Can we ask why the Times will l not identify the WB ?

  83. I think it’s federal law isn’t it? Regardless of who it is, and even what their motive was, since the claims have all been overwhelmingly verified, it doesn’t much matter does it? Even if motivated by malice, if the ends are corrupt behaviour reported, it’s in the public good.

  84. @John Brown Because whistle blowers deserve to have their identity kept secret to protect them from retribution.

  85. @Justin Not against Federal Law. His name is all over the Web. It is just against the law to punish in his work. It matters enormously for it seems he conspired with Lt.C. Vidman, Sean Misko and others to bring down -Trump while employees of the Federal Government. The Law firm he went to have his complaint reviewed is full of anti-trumpets - they styled the complaint in a form of an indictment. All this is admitted to by Schiff but Schiff says he has no idea what the WB is and never consulted with him, which is an odd statement for if Schiff did not know who the WB is, how does he know if he met/consulted with him or not ?

  86. Why didn’t the House managers bring up this conman’s intimidation & threats toward the Republican senators. This is witness intimidation.

  87. @Joe Adam Schiff did bring it up by referring to news reports that Republican senators were told their heads would be on a pike if they didn’t vote to acquit.

  88. Wow! What a bunch of baloney by Senator Alexander. He’s an NYU School of Law graduate but doesn’t want important direct witnesses such as John Bolton to testify- when most Republican senators (who are jurors) claim the quid pro quo, as a nefarious act, is unproven? Give me a break.

  89. @Doug M, on CNN tonight, John Dean said that based on the Lamar Alexander he knew at the Clinton hearings, he'd vote for witnesses. I guess John Dean underestimated the potency of the Trump kool-aid.

  90. @Doug M It's obvious they don't want witnesses and documents because they fear it will lead to expanding exposure of the extent of Trump's corruption. Bolton has already indicated he believes Trump's dealing with Erdogan were influenced by his personal business interests. And check out William Cohan's articles in Vanity Fair about the suspicious trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on the eve of the Soleimani assassination.

  91. To Mr Alexander, You have the opportunity to nip Trumpism in the bud, so to speak. Take the opportunity because the situation is still manageable. If Trump stays on and Trumpism gets out of control, it gets ugly and we ain’t seen nothing yet!

  92. Maybe, if they can, the House should consider Censure rather than impeachment?

  93. @Hypoteneus The purpose was to find where they stand. The republicans have revealed they seek to rule this country. That is what we needed to know. Now we can act accordingly to protect our families and prepare for what is coming.

  94. Senator Alexander apparently bought into the Dershowitz improper interpretation of Professor Nikolas Bowies concept equating Trumps actions with maladministration or a bad performance review rather than a high crime. One could discern from the questions that too many senators wore lost in the weeds and unable to think through a clear line of logic coinciding with evidence. Additionally whatever focus they had waned during the long hours. Hopefully good nights sleep will return some to basic sensibilities.

  95. If DT must be acquitted because of politics, where is the official criticism of (admitted) inappropriate actions, commonly known as Censure? My parents might not have grounded me for having done something inappropriate but you can bet I would have at least been scolded to dissuade me from ever doing it again. Obviously DT is the product of poor parenting at best. Sad.

  96. Astonishing to watch all the well-dressed, well-groomed men and women continue to line up to sell their souls to the Devil.

  97. Philban helped design the interrogation program in Guantanamo bay, right? I think his soul was sold long ago.

  98. On the 2016 campaign trail, Trump famously stated (about the voter loyalty he commands): "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters, OK? It's, like, incredible." He (we) did not know that the words "United States Senate" could be substituted for "any voters." Now we know.

  99. Trump will commit more impeachable offenses while delivering the State of the Union speech.

  100. @Blue in Green - and Democrats should begin new hearings on them the moment he does. I wonder how many Dems in the room will applaud His Highness King Donald on Tuesday. Few if any, I'd hope. Once they could say "we're applauding the office, not the person," but Trump has so thoroughly desecrated the presidency as to render Democratic applause hypocritical.

  101. Dear NYT: Acquittal. This was the foreseeable and almost certain result of Nancy Pelosi choosing to pursue a partisan, factually unsupported and novel theory of impeachment, rife with substantive procedural errors and omissions that made it too easy for GOP senators to say no. Adam Schiff is no genius, either. Too shrill, too enamored of his own moralistic hyperbole, lacking sufficient fealty to facts. The House got its butt kicked by Trump's lawyers. And did you see Schiff try to jump ahead of Nadler for the last opportunity to respond to senatorial questions! What a clown show! Really, really ...

  102. @Jorge It reveals what we needed to know. Republicans are traitors and seek to rule via autocracy.

  103. My believe in America has permanently changes. There is no such thing as "American Exceptionalism". I am ashamed of the USA. Indeed, we are on the path to becoming a Banana Republic. I blame the Republicans.

  104. Alexander is a coward with no moral compass. He and his fellow Republicans have finally killed the American Experiment. Our democracy is officially dead.

  105. “It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” - the conclusion to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863. Shall we allow our beautiful Democracy to perish? Will the Senate vote for witnesses and documents in the Impeachment Trial of President Trump? The 350,000 Union soldiers who died of disease and deaths in battle during the Civil War can only vote if we keep their lives and their sacrifices in our memories. But Senators are living Americans who might choose to cherish what was so dearly purchased. When asked what the Founders had given us, he answered, “ A Republic, if you can keep it.” With the last dwindling hope now gone for a call to witnesses and documents, there is serious doubt that we can keep it. Thank you, Republican Senators. Your legacies will reek of dishonor.

  106. It's now legal for US presidents to cheat in elections. Full stop.

  107. Such a transparent, unapologetic farce on the part the “Worlds Greatest Deliberative Body”.

  108. My hope is that the GOP pays dearly at the ballot box for turning their backs on fairness.

  109. @DoTheMath If American wants be at the top of the heap, it will have to prove it with actions. Not slogans. The world is witnessing the nature of the beast and it is not impressed. This form of democracy is not something others want to emulate. The damage may be irreparable.

  110. @DoTheMath -- Yes -- remarkably similiar to the Kavanaugh USSC hearing/ 'investigation'/ Fiasco.

  111. I believe we are witnessing the fall of America. The partisan betrayal of justice in favour of ones party is shameful, but hard to be surprised by. What disappoints me the most is the lack of action by the people. There have been many great causes I have been proud to see people unite against: gun violence, women’s rights, climate change. With the overwhelming majority of American citizens in favour of calling Bolton, and the risk of allowing Trump continue unchecked, how is it that no one has taken to the streets? Your country is falling. Where is the fight?

  112. @Justin No NYT's reports on the protests outside the capitol bldg...

  113. @Justin You know what would work better than demonstrations? If never-Trumpers, moderates and center-left people from densely populated, solidly blue districts in solidly blue states were to move to less-populated red and purple districts in red and purple states and change the dynamic in the political calculations of some of these would-be moderate Senators and the moderate candidates who could unseat them given a few-percentage-point shift in some of these areas. Do you work from home? Do you want to make a positive difference in our country and our world? Remember when people used to go overseas to work with the Peace Corps? We need that kind of an effort here. Now. Before the 2020 election and the redistricting that follows. What we need to overcome is a system rigged in favor of Republicans in these red states. What we need is for the majority of the country who vote for the Al Gores and Hillary Clintons to live where the Al Gores and Hillary Clintons perform j-u-u-s-t less than 50%. I'm serious, there should be a national "Move Movement."

  114. @Justin The "fight" is starting next Monday in Iowa. We are not powerless, especially later in the year.

  115. If Trump blocks the publication of Bolton's book on flimsy grounds as Jameel Jaffer and Ramya Krishnan have suggested elsewhere in the Times, then what? What is his exposure if it is published in Canada or Mexico? Put a porn cover dust jacket with Stormy on it and smuggle it in? They can't stop downloads.

  116. Witnessing an empire self-immolating is not a pretty sight.

  117. The impeachment was always doomed to fail. But Schiff and his people made the most of it, and now the voters have to impeach the man instead. God luck America.

  118. @hschmelz Yes we will need a lot of luck in November. I expect that if #45 loses in November he will revoke the results and declare himself emperor for life.

  119. Knowingly weakening if not outright endangering national security is treason. If that is not a high crime and misdemeanor a thousand times what else is? Senators I am waiting for your answer.

  120. Wow. High crimes are not impeachable anymore. Witnesses and documents being withheld are now ok. And foreigners are welcome to interfere in our elections. Is Trump a king now? Have Americans lost their minds? Sure looks like it.

  121. Not Americans: GOP senators. There’s a difference.

  122. @kay No; the Republicans in the Senate are the ones who have lost their minds, and also sold their souls.

  123. @kay Just one correction: these things are all OK provided that a Republican does them. Don't for one second think that the GOP would tolerate any of this from a Democrat.

  124. Traitors to their oaths, all. Lamar Alexander gets the Jeff Flake Award for marching up to the line and chickening out. Goodbye America; it was fun while it lasted. When's the coronation of King Donald of Trumpistan scheduled? Of course, perhaps two other Republicans might remember at the last minute that they have spines. But I'm not holding my breath.

  125. @CP It'll spare us the sham called elections...which only rich people, or people who can line up moneybags, can fight. In the end it boils downs to "people get the government they deserve."

  126. The nightmare is ending. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now, let the people decide in November. It's time for the politicians in Washington to listen and to trust the people of this nation.

  127. @P&L The criminal shouldn't be on the ballot. Enjoy your new Soviet One-Party State.

  128. @P&L Sorry, but according to our valued ally North Korea, Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren's neighbor's canary once accepted bird food from the Canadians. I don't see how the do nothing Dems can support such a plainly corrupt candidate.

  129. @P&L how can we trust the people of this nation when we are openly being manipulated by hostile foreign nations using our electoral system to divide us and promote misinformation?

  130. I guess this is how an old man tells himself he has integrity despite the fact that he just released a madman upon America that now realizes finally and forever that there is no restraints. I expect that it will go well.

  131. The Republican war on our Democracy expands. This was not a fair trial, as Republicans have said they wanted. Instead, it was a cover up. Republicans were afraid of what witnesses would say, and they were afraid that trump would attack and bully them. They are spineless and lack integrity. Shame on them. Vote them all out of office in November !

  132. If it were Obama it would be impeachable and if it were Hilary it would be impeachable, and criminal- Lock her up! What a bunch of hypocrites the Republicans are and that’s the nicest thing I can say about them.

  133. It is clear that Trump committed impeachable offenses and he colluded with russia and bullied ukraine using taxpayer money that did not belong to him or the GOP, to dig up dirt on his political rivals. It is very frustrating these days for a US citizen to get ticketed and fined for a minor traffic offense that is treated as a crime, and being given almost no chance to defend himself/herself, while Trump gets away with murder. and the Republican party is his accomplice in crime. The House should open a Ukraine investigation and go to court if needed to force mulvaney and pompeo to testify. The investigation should not stop till every bit of detail on trump's actions in Ukraine,which the GOP senators and white house is trying to hide, is exposed.

  134. Such an ignominious finale for Lamar! He’s retiring. He’s supposed to be a moderate. What a flaming disappointment.

  135. @Doug Lowenthal I understand that the headlines on the obituaries of Republicans who supported Nixon all make not of that fact. Assuming some of them also did something good or noble in their lives, it is in the fine print. To call this current lot of scoundrels cowardly is an understatement, but probably necessary for this comment to reach posterity. They have long since been bought and paid for by the 1% and corporations unleashed by "Citizens United."

  136. @Mark Keller Well bring the 25th Amendment (responding to presidential disabilities) on. T has lost his mind (if he had a mind), but the whole R party has gone off the deep end. We have lost our democracy because the senate has lost its decency. Voters will remember this travesty in Nov.

  137. Alexander just tried to find any explanation to support a decision he made long ago. He is no different from the rest of the republican senators. They are putting Trump and the fear of losing their position over the constitution. The damage by Trump, Mitch and the rest the this bunch will negatively impact this country going forward. This will be their legacy. I wish the senators did not fear Trump and worked for the people rather than themselves. They all know he’s guilty but they don’t want to do what is right for the country. Shame on you Senators. How can you look yourself on the mirror? I am not one to go out and March. However now I want to speak about my disgust from the mountain top!

  138. @Ct Alexander is retiring this term. Wonder what moves such a person to this decision? What does he want that is more important than the rule of law? He will, now, always be known as the first Senator to vote "no" to witnesses and, thereby, speed up the acquittal of co-conspirator#1.

  139. March, yes! And call these complicit Senators and shame them. While you still can, and someone actually answers. Already several GOP senators, including McConnell, no longer answer the phone nor provide voicemail. We take for granted certain avenues of feedback — visiting Senate offices, calling, etc. that get shut down under autocracy. Oh, they never actually say you can’t visit. In fact, they publish office hours and contact numbers. You just never get an appointment (endless loop of emails, form letter answers and delays), they never show, or they don’t answer the phone. I can demonstrate this right now in Poland and Romania. America, you clearly have no idea what you are in for.

  140. @Ct Unfortunately, Mr. Alexander never was any different from the rest of the Republican senators for his whole long career. Some probably fear Trump, or McConnell, or can't resist being part of a decades in the making movement to kill democracy.

  141. This is the way the world works. Alexander needs to find a way out because he knows he is in the wrong. Manning up is not an option. Weasel time. True but not impeachable and cover up cover up cover up. He has covered himself. Note what is not covered. Democracy. The constitution. Any conservative principle. Any principle other than his own backside. This is how history is made. It is a gift. They are showing who they are for what they are.

  142. Just despicable cowardice. And a despicable affront to the Constitution. That is the only legacy this Senator will leave for posterity. Good riddance to a spineless partisan.

  143. With Senator Lamar Alexander’s statement, Senate obstructionist and Trump sycophant Mitch McConnell has reached his last pathetic ploy to obstruct a fair trial— Reluctantly admit that the House managers have proved their case, and then say we therefore don’t need to hear from any witnesses.

  144. This was your second chance to do the right thing republicans. This is autocracy as promoted by the federalist society by Bill Barr himself through the unitary executive. Your end run around the people by using the electoral college and the senate to delegitimize the houses authority while placing partisan corrupt judges through out the system. This is your last chance to make things right. Past this point those of us paying attention must conclude based on your actions, words and support that you seek autocracy and to rule over the majority through the senate and executive branch. A mere 54 people and rule by fiat as the senate blocks the houses authority to hold the executive accountable. Any American truly paying attention understand they are seeking to overthrow the rule of law and rule this country via this method and corrupt judges. They have put into place political hacks loyal to wealthy individuals to regulatory capture the system and deny the citizens recourse. Our lives are under threat and our future in question. Vote in the most aggressive democrats you can find at every level. Republicans have declared war on the majority and rule derived by the consent of the governed. They are the enemy. Make no mistake of it. This was there last chance in my eyes to act in a moral authoritative way and they are failing miserably. Past this point they untie an autocrat into American society. And Fox News is his mouth piece of lies.

  145. Our only hope left is to vote out every Republican, all the way down the ticket. Someone, somewhere in your community, is registering voters, mailing postcards, running phone parties, and planning a November get-out-the-vote campaign. JOIN THEM! This is our country and we're not giving it up without a fight!

  146. The brutal and shameless farce being carried out by the Republicans will unfortunately only further advance their goal of undermining the public’s confidence in government. In this way, they’ll have an easier time cutting government services. Pity they are so effective at being treasonous.

  147. Yes, Lamar Alexander, a veritable lion in winter. Yes, said he, I'll split the difference; I'll say what Trump did was inappropriate, but it wasn't that inappropriate. So what if Ukrainians died because of Trump's decision? That's not impeachable, is it? Not a lion in winter; more a coward in the spotlight!

  148. One word only: Shameful.

  149. Who’s afraid of Donald Trump? The weak and fearful GOP. Their fake trial and acquittal will forever be branded as a shameful disgrace to Our Country the Constitution, the Rule of Law, and Democracy. Will Chief Justice Roberts join them in their sham trial?

  150. @KB Justice Roberts will be right there with the GOP. Couldn't we also tell that he had no heart for reading the questions of the demcratic senators? His mouth seemed filled with sawdust or maybe his ivy League school didn't offer remedial reading.

  151. lamar alexander and all the other so called “centrist” republican senators, with the sole honorable exception of mitt romney, you are all a profile in cowardice. trump’s corruption will be exposed in its entire magnitude soon after he leaves office and all of you will be forever remembered in the history books as the cowards that you are.

  152. “‘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,’ [Senator Alexander] said.” No, Senator. If this blatant coverup succeeds, and your announced vote will probably ensure that it does succeed, then that travesty of justice will rip this country apart. How can we have any confidence that Trump will not cheat in the 2020 election, as he has already attempted to do? And what check is there now on his power to do whatever he wants with the vast powers of the office of the presidency, now that you and your fellow Republicans have refused to hold him accountable for his “inappropriate” actions?

  153. Well said and my thoughts exactly. This response needs to be sent to Senator Alexander directly.

  154. It's almost a call to arms for the extreme right. Horrifying.

  155. @Carla When all is said and done about Alexander's senate career he will be remember first and foremost for this comment about Trump violating the constitution.

  156. If the GOP Senators let Trump get away with this, he will no longer be the only one taking the blame for his future actions From here on out, for everything he does, they will also get the blame and will automatically be associated as having condoned his actions - no matter how horrible. The one thing we know from experience is that his actions will be bad - very bad for the US and the world There will be no more checks on this man - a man whose "associates" are largely in jail or awaiting trial - a man who abandoned our allies, the Kurds and dismissed the injuries of troops who had traumatic brain injuries - a man who had to have it explained to him why it might be a bad idea to use nuclear weapons - a man who denies science and climate change - a man who suggested that free speech makes someone a "traitor" and said we should do what they did to them in the old days - a man who pretends to believe in Putin over our intel agencies This disgusting, self-serving sociopath would be given free reign I hope the Senator's realize that anyone who lets Trump get away with this, by buying into the ridiculous argument made by his lawyers (an argument of transparent gibberish and nonsense) will have also destroyed the very protection and foundation of our democracy - our Constitution There will be no more checks on this man and the GOP will have bought into the argument that he can solicit influence from a foreign government to medde in our elections - as his lawyers have argued

  157. Even if the Senate votes against witnesses and summarily acquits the president, the impeachment will not have been in vain. It has exposed Republicans as a full-bore autocratic party that will chose to retain power even at the expense of the most fundamental principles of our democracy. Like many developing countries, the United States no longer has a conservative and liberal party, it has an autocratic party and a pro-democracy party. Those who fancy themselves as independent voters above the fray of partisan politics now need to ask themselves whether they can remain neutral between authoritarianism and democracy, or whether they need to decide which side they're on.

  158. @FB1848, who wrote, "Like many developing countries, the United States no longer has a conservative and liberal party, it has an autocratic party and a pro-democracy party." That is by design. Authoritarian conservatives in Russia and around the world have been influencing candidates, deploying propaganda in the U.S. and other nations, and laundering foreign money into campaigns through groups like the NRA in order to create a global right wing in their authoritarian image which supports movements backing similar candidates precisely so that they can have solidarity in their kleptocratic, anti-democratic, power-consolidating efforts. It's not Republican or Democrat, it's authoritarian or democracy. I hope enough people realize this in red states to make a difference before it's too late.

  159. @FB1848 This is terrifying and spot on. I will be sharing this comment because it so starkly lays out the political reality before us.

  160. @FB1848 you wrote what I more than feel. Eloquently and well said you spoke truth, you spoke true patriotism, you spoke honorably. With tears in my eyes I say thank you. I said "more than feel" (sad and scared about what we've become as a Nation) because the facts are obvious. I feel so because I am a true patriot and any true patriot would feel so given the FACTS of the matter. ".. ..the United States no longer has a conservative and liberal party, it has an autocratic party and a pro-democracy party." The 2020 election and the subsequent mid-terms will be among the few existentially critical elections in our Nation's history. The GOP is an unrelenting juggernaut against modernity, truth, and anything that remotely opposes their regressive march toward theocratic authoritarian plutocracy (TAP). Over the last 40 years they've insidiously and cleverly groomed a loyal base of GOP voters. They've fostered apathy, confusion, and cynicism in others to tamp down non-GOP participation. They've gamed the system to gain unfair structural advantage. They are really a MINORITY Party but they reign! We could survive the money oriented GOP if "all" it cared about was rational (right or wrong) free-market license. What we will NOT survive - what we canNOT ignore as Patriotic Americans - is that this is NOT ALL the GOP wants.

  161. “If we go down that road” of ignoring a corrupt motive, Mr. Schiff said, “there is no limit to what this or any other president can do.” This Senate has sealed the darkest moment in our history.

  162. @Nancy-Well, there's still some "light" that can be shed. And that would be for Bolton to hold a press conference and spill the beans; ideally Friday morning before the Senate hearing ends. With the Presidents he's served and years in office, he knows exactly what he can say without breach of secrecy laws. Bolton's public disclosure would not only rivet the nation and be top of news--it would send sales of his book through the roof. Go Bolton!

  163. @Ann These last few years have been sobering when it comes to expecting heroic acts of patriotism from those in government. We are like abused victims in a toxic relationship hoping that our partner will suddenly change and rise up to what we always wished they'd be only to be let down time and time again. Where has John Bolton been the entire time since the impeachment inquiry began? Why hasn't he held a press conference already? And what does it say that we keep leaning on the most unlikely of heroes throughout this ordeal? While I hate what is happening to our country with every fiber of my being, and even more after it was revealed yesterday that in April of last year, Trump rolled back women's rights by 50 years, it's bringing forth the reality that there are no heroes, no champions, and no patriots in our government, and so it is up to us to rise up and defend this country vehemently and heroically with our votes.

  164. @Nancy Lamar Alexander has adopted a variation of the Mitch McConnell' commandment for impeachment.' 'Thou shalt not impeach and convict the President of the United States in an election year.' In addition to ' Thou shalt nominate an Associate Justice to the Supreme Court of the United States in an election year while being the black African American President of the United States'.

  165. For days now many of us were hoping that a Northern moderate Republican or Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee would rise to the occasion and vote to hear new evidence in the impeachment trial. Unfortunately, that won’t happen. The klieg lights of history will shine unfavorably on Senator Alexander with so much influence riding on his one vote and having admitted that the president acted “inappropriately.” This will be a serious individual mistake. Perhaps he should know that his critics might summon the anagram: “A REAL MAX STANDALONE ERROR” which has the exact same 23 letters as “OR SENATOR LAMAR ALEXANDER.”

  166. It is not just inappropriate. It is illegal. He solicited a bribe in exchange for funds that he was obligated to release. How much worse does it get? He solicited a bribe in exchange for aid. It is not just inappropriate , it is illegal and clearly a gross, not a minor, a gross abuse of power. What is next; FEMA finds won’t be release to disaster victims until the pledge to vote for Trump or unless they give sworn testimony that Joe Biden molests children even if it is not true ? Or maybe in order for a veteran to get his veteran’s benefits, he owes Trump a kickback. How can any Republican senator sleep at night? Why did they completely sell their souls? I get it that they fear Trumps tweets but if they stuck together and convicted , he would be out of power and could not harm them and Pence would be in power. Their anti abortion , anti immigrant , anti social program , no tax on the rich agenda would be continued

  167. All is not lost. There's a line from a Bruce Springsteen song, Wrecking Ball: "Hold on to your anger and don't fall to your fear." This is indeed a fear-filled time. The Republican Party has completely confirmed that it is the anti-democratic party. And the anti-rule-of-law party. And the pro-authoritarian party. So it's tempting to just close our eyes and give in to despair. But fueled by not just our anger but also our hopes and dreams (to reference a Springsteen song yet again), and with lots of hard work, we can win in November. We simply have to.

  168. And how is that going to happen? This will just embolden Trump to steal the election.

  169. How tragic that all the things that make a democracy great are denigrated by such indifferance! How can you choose darkness when you could have light? I am despondent.

  170. CSPAN2 was painful to watch, as I checked a few YouTube streams of the trial and stayed there through the dinner break. Not the coverage, mind, no issues with THAT...but after watching vile-GOP senators lie to the press-con mic, and all but a few callers and texters side with the loser[1], I closed tab and missed when the evil rand paul reportedly named the whistleblower (after he failed to get roberts to). Iran, if you're listening, I hope you can find those 53 vile-GOP senator consciences. I think you'll be mightily rewarded by the history books... [1] Probably because they were roughly West-vs-East phone lines and not the Dem-vs-vile-GOP-vs-Indie ones I'd often seen.

  171. So how long do you think it will take before the whistleblower has an accident?

  172. It's time for Bloomberg to drop a few billion dollars and buy the next presidency. That is the only hope of changing the current path of political destruction the GOP keeps kicking us down. When they a Democrat can openly behave in ways they promote for only themselves and win both the popular vote and electoral college perhaps the next generation of gopers will be more careful with our society

  173. A "perfect" ending for a "perfect" Republican show of "perfect" synchronized knee-bending for the once and future King of America. Remember: This vote to allow witnesses is NOT a vote on the merits of the case. That shows the depths of the abject, fawning, fearful, codependent wilting of the Republican Senate. From now on, expect more King George III behavior from Trump--but now King George isn't our foreign oppressor, but our own unfettered King of the USA, working to bend us all to his regal will.

  174. @Robert We told King George III where to go in 1776. We are going to tell "King Donald the First" where to go on November 3, 2020. Wait until he starts to really rile up his "base" - very base - at his rallies now that he will think he really is above the law. He should be thankful we are not the French, who probably do not remember where they stored those guillotines.

  175. A question from afar . . . Senator Alexander et al, is it not apparent that tRump’s version of the Ukraine call and motive/conditions contradicts that of Bolton? One is lying - it’s not rocket science to see that. Does that not, in its own standing, concern you and others? Is that not worth resolving? Whether your Commander In Chief can be trusted and believed? Just how low have you all stooped ...

  176. @Moose 🦌 Why is it always "rocket science"? Just for a change why not use microbiology or advanced robotics?

  177. Senator Alexander, it is not your job to decide what is impeachable and what is not. That is the House's job, and it has decided in the affirmative. The purpose of a Senate trial is to determine whether or not guilt has been established.

  178. @gh It became the Senate's job to decide what's impeachable when the matter of additional information and witnesses came into play. There is ZERO reason for the Congress's failure to gather all relevant facts and get Bolton (and others) to provide testimony (or a legal excuse as to why they can't get testimony). Alexander is 79 years old and retiring. He has no dog in this fight. The failure to convince him that Bolton's testimony is necessary speaks to how poorly Schiff and Nadler made their case.

  179. Umm. You do not understand. An impeachment is more like an indictment. The Senate then determines if the (articles) charges are impeachable. The Senate majority presumably determined they are not. If they had, they’d have gone to trial with witnesses. Senator Alexander, never a Trump fan, sadly offered an incomplete explanation. Though Biden is a political opponent, well before announcing his candidacy, had his son Hunter (indeed, Joe’s 2 brothers, sister and son-in-law, as well) had not been engaged in multiple big stake quid pro quo corruption deals while Biden was VP, there’d have been no reason to investigate Biden at all? Right? Before handing over hundreds of millions of our tax dollars, Trump had every reason, even a responsibility, to investigate (whether Joe was running or not) to measure the level of improvement in historically corrupt Ukraine. Now you get it? The Dems will live to regret their litany of desperate attempts to undo this president, wasting our time and money via Hillary’s Steele dossier, Russian collusion, the Mueller Report, and now this. They can’t stomach this robust president that keeps his promises, especially to a base that used to identify as Democrats. That was back in the good old days of social reforms when progressive didn’t mean Socialist. Sigh.

  180. Boy did they fail at that.

  181. Senator Alexander arrogantly presumes to know that Mr. Bolton would merely echo what all the patriotic impeachment witnesses said. But Mr. Alexander does not know that. Mr. Bolton might testify that President Trump’s wrongdoing was even worse than alleged, to the point that Alexander and his Republican cohorts would have no choice but to convict. Denying Americans their right to hear from the most important witness at this most critical juncture in our history is an act of unspeakable and unforgivable cowardice. This Republican cover-up negates the rule of law. The United States is officially in a Cold Civil War. The fate of our country and planet is at stake. Keep fighting America.

  182. @Kevin I agree with all you said. However, if Bolton does have persuasive evidence, he should have outed it long ago and not waited to profit from it monetarily. I would hope he would hold a press conference and tells us what he knows before the Senate votes. But he won’t.

  183. @Kevin : Instead of fighting, we need to split up. There are obviously two mindsets in this country that are extremely unhappy with each other. The Civil War never ended, only now it's urban versus rural, blue states versus red states. It could become a hot war, not a cold one and I never want to see that. Start now and break it up.

  184. In this context it might be good to remember what Senator Elisabeth Warren has recently said on the campaign trail: "A country that has elected Donald Trump as a President had problems long before that". She was right. And the groundwork for these problems have been laid by the GOP, mainly since Ronald Reagan. Since, the Republicans have become a party that in essence only is interested in one thing: Maintaining and furthering the advantages of the super rich - at all cost. Now it has cost us Democracy itself.

  185. Not so. Inner cities have been failing for decades under Democratic leadership. All boats are rising now...under a Republican president. Just imagine all the positive things he could have accomplished without resistance to his every move. I find it depressing people (Dems) support criminal protection in sanctuary cities, spent more than one trillion dollars on illegals that could have been allocated to our own citizens in need. Seems treasonous to me.

  186. If the vote for witnesses ends up in a 50/50 tie, and Roberts recuses himself from breaking the tie because he doesn’t want to politicize an already over partisan affair, thereby allowing the motion for witnesses to fail, he will in effect be casting a partisan vote, like it or not. Hopefully he would man up, and vote as his experience, training and conscience lead him to, and inform the American citizens as to the basis for his decision.

  187. @Philip If he were to break the tie and vote for witnesses, somebody else would be saying it was the equivalent of a partisan vote. Partisanship does not arise from the vote itself, but from whether his motives and reasoning is from a political or judicial standpoint. Since he took Trump on over whether there are "Obama judges" and "Trump judges," I have a lot of faith in his fairness on this matter.

  188. @Philip It is depending on the reasons for the tie. If the rejection is based on the reason Mr. Alexander has given - most likely - Mr. Roberts will have to reject also, because then the legal issue is already decided by the true decision maker "Senate". Mr. Roberts is not the decision maker here but can act only as a procedural helper. If the assessment of the Senat as decision maker is, expressed in simple popular words to make it fully transparent: "Not enough, unqualified abuse of power is not sufficient in regard to high crime and misdemeanor, even if Mr. Bolton said the pressing quidproquo approach of Mr. Trump had squeezed Mr. Zelensky like a lemon the threshold of an qualified abuse of power as an impeachable offense would still not be crossed" then Mr. Robert would be obliged not to allow the witnesses no matter how experienced trained or conscient he is. It´s just because such facts are not relevant in regard to the fullfilment of the objective elements of the impeachment rules. This is called "assumption as true" and avoids a lot of investigations and hearings that can never have any impact on the outcome of a decision for legal reasons. This means: The reason Mr. Alexander has given now is the one to close the case. It took a long, long time until the high paid counsels of the president and GOP had figured out this convenient legal everyday-work clue. (My very personal guess: Mr. Giuliani out - Mr. Dershowitz and Mr. Starr in - case cold.)

  189. Why so much fear over having witnesses testify? If Trump did nothing wrong, having witnesses won’t hurt him. It just looks like a cover up now

  190. If the GOP's purpose is to undermine the people's faith in the government as an institution that upholds the rule of law, they have succeeded. It's taken them 40 years, since the election of Reagan, but they've finally done it. I hope they're proud of themselves - history will not remember their names kindly.

  191. The push was on to bury the trial before it would get in the way of Trump's upcoming proclamation of absolute power, previously titled State of the Union address. The House should refuse to allow Trump to the House. Trump and the GOP Senators both demonstrate disrespect for the Office of President and the Constitution.

  192. I don’t understand why many people think Trump’s acquittal is the destruction of our democracy. On the contrary! A majority of of the senators duly elected by the people to represent them in Washington do not think the charges rise to the level that the President should be removed. And if people disagree with their representatives then in a few short months they will get the chance to elect new ones, including the President. That’s not a failed democracy, that’s democracy in action! The whole business about Bolton is just a distraction away from the fact that the Democrats don’t have the votes to remove Trump. By now everyone knows basically what happened with Ukraine and most every Senator has made yon their mind and is ready to vote. They just don’t see a point in dragging this on now that the outcome is certain. Of course the Democrats have incentives to drag it on to hurt Trump’s re-election chances but that’s a different story.

  193. Because this means that the President is now above the law. He can do whatever he wants as long as he has a compliant Senate. And his next move will be to interfere even more in 2020. So much for the rule of law and free and fair elections.

  194. Senator Lamar Alexander says Trump’s behavior was ‘inappropriate’ but not worthy of removal. Unfortunately for the rest of us, we’ll probably never know if there are things akin to the secret Nixon tapes that led to his resignation. That’s the genius of Trump’s scorched earth defense combined with ostriches for Republican senators. If Dems could have forced production of all the relevant witnesses and documents in a reasonable timeframe, ‘inappropriate’ would be replaced by unemployed and probably indicted.

  195. I think Senator Alexander got it right. There's no question about what Trump did. And it seems to fit Trump's profile as a proclaimed deal artist: Ukraine gets the aid it needs and Trump get the investigation he wants, a clever perpetual motion machine that the rest of us can only marvel at. With this now well established (as the Democrats like to remind us, they have "mountains of evidence" to that effect) why does the Senate need witnesses to endorse this rather obvious finding? The only argument now is whether it justifies removing the President from office. I agree with the Senator's reasons for saying no to this. Perhaps Democrats should give some thought to the downside of lowering the bar on impeachment, particularly with one of their leading candidates, Sanders, reportedly already having started to prepare stacks of executive orders to end-run an obstinate Congress and govern by fiat should he win in November.

  196. @Bob K. *even if* you think it’s just peachy to pursue foreign backing for a conspiracy theory which originated with the FSB in order to slander a political opponent... what about denying Congress it’s fundamental function of oversight?

  197. @Bob K. The Republicans had NO problem investigating Bill Clinton, for YEARS until they finally got him for lying about an affair. For that they impeached him. And you blame the DEMOCRATS for lowering the bar? Let us recount the evidence: Trump withheld vital military aid from an ally that is fighting a hot war with Russia, which has invaded Ukraine and stolen Crimea, the Black Sea port. He did that in order to smear Joe Biden who has only acted to advance the interests of the US and our allies in Ukraine. He also repeats Russian propaganda and believes Putin over our own intel services; so he wanted HRC's server to be investigated as well, to prove that Ukraine not Russia interfered with our election (more Russian propaganda.) He also harassed, possibly endangered and destroyed the career of a corruption-fighting US ambassador. He has also intimidated witnesses and threatened the whistleblower and the House Democrats, repeatedly. Those crimes put our election at risk. They also endangered our national security. They betray the American people and our allies. They leave Europe weaker in the face of aggressive Russia. Let us not forget the comments about our wounded soldiers, the nearly 200 people killed on an airliner in the wake of Trump's hit on Soleimani which was not well explained even to Congress; and the horrendous and immoral and stupid betrayal of our Kurdish allies which handed Syria to Russia. And you say the Democrats lowered the bar?

  198. Because it doesn’t look legitimate without witnesses, it reeks of a cover up.

  199. Mitch allows Susan Collins to vote with the Democrats only when it will not change the outcome and that has helped keep her in the Senate as if she were a moderate republican. It seems likely that Romney has a similar understanding.

  200. Exactly right! I just talked with someone from Maine who said Collins is running ads calling herself a “bipartisan independent”— not mentioning her party affiliation. Her vote for documents and witnesses is likely to make no difference at all, and she knows it. All other times, she votes in lockstep with Moscow Mitch.

  201. It was straining to listen to 14 out of the 16 hours of question-and-answer in the impeachment trial. It was also insightful; it provided a glimpse of the Federal government at work. I hope the act impeachment ultimately drives out the culprits, that is, all of the culprits.

  202. If the senate votes to have no witnesses, the house should re open an impeachment inquiry, and issue subpoenas. When the White House stonewalls, they should force the issue of compliance with congressional oversight as part of impeachment into the courts. The precedent being set here is terrifying.

  203. After witnessing the best Senate that dark money could buy, I realize that now that we are an autocracy do we really even need a legislative branch or for that matter a judicial branch of government?

  204. “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,” The ball is now in the Senate's court, literally. Therefore, it is for the Senate to consider the veracity of the misdeeds committed by Trump and take a decision as per law. Facing public during elections is altogether a different issue. Let not the ensuing election be confused with the Senate Trial. Had such accusations made during the early period of Presidency, should Senate keep its eyes shut and wait for next elections ? What if the President is on his second term? Moreover, Senate is not occupied with military generals or bureaucrats. It is filled with Senators, elected by the American people.

  205. I think Lamar Alexander was giving Susan Collins a way to vote for witnesses, which she needed, while not jeopardizing McConnell's effort to wind up. In fact, we all know the outcome since a two-thirds vote is needed to remove, but from the longer perspective of the 2020 election cycle, this end is short-sighted of the Republicans and may end up hurting them more than had they allowed Bolton to appear, however meaninglessly. All those who vote against witnesses - except Alexander who's retiring - will face accusations that they did not support full accountability to the people.

  206. Yup, what I’ve been saying all along. Sure, there was a quid pro quo, but it did not rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors — it was more reflective of Trump’s negotiating style going too far, and should have been handled with censure. Instead, Democrats latched onto this as their next great opportunity following their No Collusion disappointment and used impeachment in a most politicized way (zero Republican votes). Hey Congress, how about getting back to doing some real work?

  207. Defending the Constitution is the most important work our representatives could possibly perform.

  208. The supposedly unalterable verdict is offered as a convenience, to deflect attention from the embarrassment of voting for it. Quite simply, impeachment is called a political process, because politics provides the only accountability. Republican senators are desperate to escape that accountability, and so vote like Alexander votes—in the hope that the full magnitude of their recklessness can be kept under wraps.

  209. "Moscow Mitch" fulfilled his destiny and delivered the Senate to Vlad. Conspiracy theories attract more attention than truth. Ignore truth. So his legions do the same. Such allegiances do not change truth. Many said when this trial began, both POTUS and the SENATE were on trial with the American people. 75% of Americans want relevant witnesses and documents at this trial. What happens next if their expectations are denied? Has Vlad succeeded in weakening America, our democracy, and our comity? We are the citizens and warriors. Our country is under attack and some of those who are fighting against us don't even know they are doing so! The fight is not between the Conservative Complainers and the Coastal Comforters. It is with the Autocrats amongst us and the Weavers who seek to invite all to find their thread in the American Tapestry. 45 has his own thread bare baby blanket.

  210. Before the final vote on the impeachment charges where Trump will be "acquitted", what about a simple vote of censure, disapproving of the President's conduct in withholding military aid in order to get Zelensky to investigate the Bidens? That vote would separate Republicans who are willing to admit Trump's wrongdoing (though they deny it constitutes an impeachable offense) from those who insist that he did nothing wrong. And what about a second motion to proclaim the importance of a free, fair and legal election in November, demanding that neither the President nor his Democratic opponent do anything to encourage foreign interference in the campaign or the vote? That won't stop Trump and Giuliani from soliciting foreign interference, but it would create a minority of Republicans running for reelection who have publicly deplored such conduct. That might weaken the appeal of his uncritical loyalists in swing states.

  211. I will be donating money to her opponent this year. I don't have much, but it is important. I will be donating to FAIR FIGHT, Stacey Abram's organization. I will be donating to Cory Gardner's opponent. If this is how they treat their positions, they deserve to lose.

  212. And how, pray tell, are the American people supposed to decide what to do about it when the electoral college continues to deny the American people the basic fairness of one person, one vote and election of the POTUS by a simple national majority?

  213. No evidence, no witnesses. This is what history will record.

  214. Stonewalling Congress is not the same as determining innocence.

  215. @Paul Smith Yes, the weakest impeachment case ever. One that followed on the heels of an intensive investigation based on democrats' allegations that the president colluded with Russia, which found "no evidence of collusion." The context of this impeachment will be duly noted in the history books as well.

  216. When this impeachment drive began, I wrote several posts calling it a "political suicide mission," and that's what it's turned out to be for the Democrats. The problem is, most voters simply don't care what happened in Ukraine, or even where it is. The GOP knows that, and has gone right on with its campaign of profiting off hate and division in America. Maybe now the Dems can return to the "kitchen table politics" that won back the House in 2018, stressing healthcare, drug and education costs, income inequality, and similar gut issues facing voters every day. That's if the Bernie bros and other purveyors of pie in the sky don't destroy us from within. The threat of nominating a far left candidate and turning the election into McGovern 2.0, in which Nixon beat George 49 states to 1, is very, very real.

  217. If we’re not be be a nation of laws, why did we put Cohen and Manafort in prison?

  218. And, so the new math becomes official, 2+2=5.

  219. I feel as if I truly made a profound mistake by taking the time to watch and digest the entire Trump impeachment trial. I should have known that my hope that the trial would be fair, and seek truth for all Americans in reference to Trump and Ukraine would be dashed. It is beyond doubt that the Republicans have no intention of standing up for America first. Despite the overwhelming evidence of Trump’s guilt the Republicans ( with the exception of Mitt Romney and perhaps Collins) have worked together to twist reality to a predetermined result of acquittal. The American people meanwhile have been shown that all the things we learned growing up from reciting allegiance to the flag truly ring hollow in the new Trump Republican world. There is no longer fairness and justice for all rather it is just for those select few Republicans willing to pay homage to Trump at all cost no matter what he does on 5th Avenue or anywhere else. The Senate is now poised to give him a full get out of jail ticket for any act no matter how criminal if it’s for his benefit. To say I am sickened by this McConnell driven scam is an understatement. I doubt I will ever vote for any Republican again during my life time.

  220. At what point must top US military officials decide that the only way for them to honor their oaths the protect the US Constitution is to remove by force the President and Senate Majority Leader who have betrayed theirs?

  221. I guess I'm ready now to say let's focus on issues, issues, issues that matter to voters and more or less ignore Trump. If the game is winning the 2020 election, let's win it! Let's talk about how Republicans want to take away your healthcare and how Democrats will provide better access to care. Let's talk about building strong alliances around the world instead of the current isolationism. Let's talk about better funding the government so people have more access to higher education without going deep into debt. And sure Democrats can sprinkle in some Republican shaming for defending the Buffoon In Chief. But it shouldn't be an obsession by any means.

  222. Senator Alexander should announce right now if he supports Trump’s reelection or not.

  223. I don’t like Trump, but perhaps, maybe, in a million years, Lamar Alexander is at least half right. The way to get rid of Trump is the election next November.

  224. But will we get a fair election? I doubt it. They pretty much gave Trump free license to solicit whatever foreign help he wants, with whatever methods he wants.

  225. To be honest, if at least some Republicans admit that Trump's conduct in this matter was indeed inappropriate, this is already a small victory of sorts. This is a far cry from the "perfect" phone call claimed by the President. Now it is perfectly normal that they don't want Trump removed. He remains their best chance of victory in November, and there are now diminished because it is clear that Trump is an autocrat. Remember that many moderate are yet undecided. Well done Democrats: now focus on the tough issues for the Republicans: healthcare, rising inequalities, access to education, rising debt. The Republicans have had 4 years to implement their program and done nothing beyond a "yuge" tax cut that future generations will have to pay.

  226. Although I worry what this President will allow to happen if re-elected, I worry far more what this precedent will do to our republic in the decades ahead.

  227. All of the Republican senators that are determined to block witnesses and evidence are complicit in the president’s obstruction of Congress. It is frivolous to call the impeachment case purely partisan while blocking every witness that would clearly not be partisan from testifying. Looking at this from some distance, without having a horse in the race, I find it all quite outrageous.

  228. Looking at this from here in the USA I can say that I find it terrifying and very sad. America is no longer a democracy.

  229. I’m astounded by Senator Alexander’s view that the obstruction of Congress charge is “frivolous.” The only conclusion I can draw is that Senator Alexander thinks it’s okay for a president simply to stonewall Congressional requests for witnesses and documents and order his subordinates in the Executive branch to ignore Congressional subpoenas, all to cover up his/her own misconduct. Congress’s oversight powers are thereby eviscerated, and Trump is right to say he can do whatever he wants. If he commits a crime, the DoJ says he can’t be indicted. If Congress tries to investigate him, he can just stonewall and cover up his misdeeds. It’s a terrible message to retire on, Senator Alexander.

  230. With the abdication of Lamar Alexander to anything resembling moral courage, it is doubtful that there are a sufficient number of Republican senators remaining to force the issue of additional witnesses and evidence. It is easy to be brave when you run with the pack but the true test of moral courage is when you stand in opposition to the pack knowing the consequences but still feel that given the gravity of the situation, it must be done. I guess that the survival of our democratic republic in the face of this Trumpian onslaught, is only secondary to the members political survival. If Trump is acquitted based on this sham trial, it will do nothing other than encourage him to continue his assault on our republic and its institutions and complete, perhaps, his march to an autocratic state where the pernicious rule of man will replace the rule of law. My only hope is that the coming elections will be a total repudiation of Trump and his minions but I am concerned that Trump will find an excuse to interfere with those elections if he thinks he will lose. And, his partner, Putin, will be only too happy to help to achieve that end.

  231. I agree. He was allowed to interfere this time without consequences. He will likely get on the phone with Putin the minute this is over & plan the theft of the next election. The Republicans have shown that they do not care what criminal thing he does.

  232. It’s almost midnight here, and I find myself unable to sleep. Why should I feel so disillusioned if I knew all along - even if Bolton were a witness - that Trump would be acquitted? I think it is fear of what lies ahead. It seems as if what is right and good and just no longer counts. Morality has become merely an illusion. And truthfully, I don’t know how much more exploitation of our democratic republic and our Constitution this nation of ours can endure. I’ve seen a lot during my 70 plus years, but never have I experienced anything close to the hubris and downright corruption that this “president” and his Party have embraced.

  233. I was hoping that Sven though I knew Trump wouldn’t be removed, we would at least get to hear the evidence for ourselves and make up our own minds.

  234. Alexander says, “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.” How can he be so confident that blocking evidence and moving to acquit Trump of impeachment charges he knows him to be guilty of won’t have the same effect?

  235. Mr. Dershowitz's claim of impunity for Presidents that act in ways they see as 'in the public interest' invites only more Executive branch aggression. Mr. Trump had best tread lightly if exonerated as there is no limit to future impeachment. Such advice will fall on deaf ears in the Trump administration and, given his proclivity to heap misstep upon stumble, Trump in his coming celebratory free reign will likely provide us with further invitations to impeach.

  236. Trump is like the three year old that can’t control himself in the candy store. God knows what he will do now that he thinks he’s invincible.

  237. The Republicans are trying to spark an uprising as an excuse for military rule after they have cultivated support of the military and gun owners. The Richmond Virginia gun rally was a trap for those who resist. 22,000 people showed up likely under surveillance with future intelligence gathering likely and ongoing. They were trapped and in turn led to many others being trapped. However the Trial goes will decide our fate, not just Trump's.

  238. The word 'heritage' was used a couple of times today. Heritage or legacy, whatever we call it, is left behind. The environmental adage comes to mind, "Take only memories, leave only footprints" In the future sensible people of today will shake their heads and wonder, "Did that really happen?" As information which should have been heard and considered comes to light it will be, "Did we let that happen?" In the distance others not here yet will look back on the whole sorry saga at a shadow, a stain.

  239. It comes as no surprise, but we held out hope. Not for Trump; for our country, for the the nation. The fact is that Republican senators are a reflection of a huge plurality of our fellow citizens. I know it’s not a majority; there is voter suppression, gerrymandering, etc., but the fact remains and it is staring us in the face. A very very large number of our fellow citizens think what the president has been doing is just fine. When the vote to acquit is done, they will stand tall as proud Americans, as a majority of us hang our heads in shame, and fear for the future of the country we live in. The country we used to think of as our country. I will hold out hope for November. After that, if Trump is still the president and Mitch McConnell is returned to the Senate, I don’t know.

  240. Oh, how I wish some painter with a satirical bent would recreate Jacques-Louis David’s famous picture of the Coronation of Napoleon updated for the Trumpian era. What a picture that would be, with Trump having already crowned himself emperor, preparing to crown the kneeling Empress Melania. Although there wouldn’t be room to include the entire GOP in the background we could still have Trump’s cabinet, part of the Supreme Court, Charles Koch, Robert Mercer, Rupert Murdoch and a few Evangelicals. It would certainly be an accurate reflection of where we are now.

  241. @Susan, Great comment. But the empress would not be Donald’s third wife Melania but his first love Ivanka.

  242. It is not, simply, " inappropriate" for the President of the United States, to use the power of his office, to hold military assistance to a foreign ally, in exchange, for damaging information, against a domestic political opponent. It is illegal. It is criminal. It is an abuse of power. It is wrong.

  243. Thousands of comments now accompany Alexander's Facebook post in which he admitted that Democrats had made their case but refused to call witnesses. I did not count every post, but I'd guess that well over 90%, maybe even 95% are negative. Based on those comments, the Fed's acknowledgement of a continuing manufacturing recession, and continuing credible allegations of Trump illegality, I'd say that the GOP may die as a result of this travesty of justice.

  244. Couldn’t happened to a more deserving group.