Should they, or shouldn’t they? That is the question.
Today the Senate will hear from both sides on the issue of calling witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Trump. House managers are in favor of calling witnesses, especially former National Security Advisor John Bolton. The president’s defense team has argued that no further witnesses are necessary, but they are called, they will want to hear from Joe and Hunter Biden, as well as Rep. Adam Schiff and the whistleblower.
As it comes down to the wire, all eyes are on four key Republican senators, Mitt Romney (R-UT), Linda Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Lamar Alexander (R-TN). If all four vote to hear from witnesses, it will tip the balance in the Senate from 53-47 (the Republican to Democrat split) to 49-51.
Romney has declared he would like to hear from witnesses, Murkowski appears to be leaning that way, and Collins is on the fence. But Alexander has now said he will vote against hearing from witnesses.
Barring a new development, this leaves the Democrats with an even 50-50 vote on witnesses as their best outcome. If that happens, Chief Justice John Roberts could cast a deciding vote, but there is no precedence for that, and it seems unlikely. Instead, the matter could just die without the majority necessary to call witnesses, which would end in favor of the president’s defense team.
If that happens, then the senate could vote on impeachment as early as Saturday. With a quick acquittal, we might actually see the U.S. Congress get past this foregone conclusion and back to their jobs of legislating for the country.
Of course, in an election year, it will simply mean that all of those up for re-election, which is all of the House and one-third of the Senate, as well as the many Congressmen running for the Democratic Presidential nomination, can get back on the campaign trail.
It’s hard to see which way is better for Americans, with the lawmakers stuck in Washington working on something pointless because the eventual vote is clear, or out on the campaign trail?