The vote to cite witnesses will be held this Friday
Republican senator Susan Collins announced Thursday her intention to vote in favor of the motion to summon witnesses and provide documents in the impeachment against the president of the United States, Donald Trump, while another of the senators who could tip the balance in favor of the Democrats, Lamar Alexander, has said he will vote against.
“I believe that listening to certain witnesses would give each party the opportunity to present their case more completely and fairly, resolve any ambiguity and provide additional clarity,” Collins explained in a statement made public at the end of the political trial session of this Thursday, where the senators have asked their questions for the second consecutive day to both the Democratic congressmen who exercise the accusation of the House of Representatives and the Trump legal team.
“Therefore, I will vote in support of the motion to allow witnesses and documents to be cited,” the senator added by Maine. It has also specified that it considers that the most “sensible” way to proceed with the matter of witnesses is for each party to agree on an equal number of witnesses to testify.
“If this motion is approved, I think the most sensible way to proceed would be for the Democratic congressmen and the president's lawyers to try to agree on a limited and equal number of witnesses for each side,” he said. “If they can't agree, then the Senate could choose the number of witnesses,” he added.
Jay Sekulow, the White House lawyer and Trump's personal lawyer, already warned on Wednesday that the process will continue for “months” if witnesses are summoned to testify, in part because the president's legal team will quote “anyone” who consider.
On the other hand, Senator Alexander has justified his negative vote in the vote explaining that “there is no need for more evidence to prove something that has already been proven.”
“I worked with other senators to make sure we have the right to request more documents and witnesses, but there is no need for more evidence to prove something that has already been proven and does not meet the high standard of the United States Constitution for a offense subject to an 'impeachment', “the Tennessee senator said in a statement.
At least 51 senators, a simple majority, must vote in favor of citing witnesses and providing documents this Friday. Therefore, four Republican senators would have to join the 47 Democrats in order for the motion to pass.
The other two Republican senators who had expressed the possibility of voting with the Democrats in favor of the motion, Mitt Romney, very critical of Trump, and Lisa Murkowski, have not yet ruled on the meaning of their vote. However, with Alexander's refusal, Republicans once again have an advantage in the Senate.
If the vote gets more votes against, the Upper House could already vote for Trump's acquittal. If, on the contrary, the vote yields a positive result, the impeachment will continue.
THE POSSIBILITY OF APPOINTMENT OF BOLTON
An alleged draft of a book by former US National Security advisor John Bolton says Trump told Bolton in August that he wanted to continue blocking the delivery of $ 391 million of military aid to Ukraine until the Kiev authorities pledged to investigate the former vice president of the United States, Joe Biden, and his son Hunter. The statement of objections of the Trump political trial contains the crimes of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Bolton's manuscript has sharpened the cracks in the Republican majority. Republicans have asserted their majority in the Upper House so far to control the timing and format of the process. Democrats have tried in vain to call key witnesses, including Bolton himself, to determine if the president abused his power.
TRUMP ATTACKS SCHIFF
In addition, this Thursday Trump has attacked the head of the Intelligence Commission of the House of Representatives of the United States, Adam Schiff, one of the Democrats appointed to exercise the accusation of the Lower House in the process against the US president.
Specifically, he has been described as “very sick person” during a campaign rally held in the city of Des Moines, in Iowa.
The president has also taken the opportunity to criticize the process of 'impeachment' itself. “We are probably living the best years in the history of our country and they accused me. Can you believe it?”
“They want to overthrow the entire system of government, but that is not happening. The Washington Democrats have spent the last three years trying to nullify the elections,” Trump added.
THE CASE AGAINST TRUMP
The political trial is chaired by the president of the United States Supreme Court, John Roberts, and the seven deputies appointed by the House of Representatives will act as 'prosecutors' of a process in which all senators must act as jurors, regardless of the party in which they militate.
The impeachment process encompasses the investigation and voting in the House of Representatives, where Trump was officially disapproved in December, thus becoming the third censored US president, and the political trial in the Upper House, in which, to date , no president has become dismissed.
The process began following a complaint lodged by an Intelligence officer who considered that Trump's call to his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodimir Zelenski, on July 25 was an attempt to pressure him to force him to open an investigation into the Biden, paralyzing until then the delivery of more than 300 million dollars of military aid to Kiev and postponing the invitation for a meeting at the White House.
Trump maintains that he is the victim of a “witch hunt” and that his call was “perfect”, despite the contradictions that have been observed in the Government since the complaint of the anonymous official for the alleged campaign of pressure on Ukraine.