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2 Key GOP Senators Don't Want Impeachment Witnesses, so Trump Trial Could Wrap This Weekend

01-31-2020

The impeachment trial of President Trump could end this weekend or early next week. It's looking like Republicans now have the votes to shut down Democrats' attempt to call witnesses.

The Democrats needed four Republican votes, but two of the ones they were hoping for - Tennessee's Sen. Lamar Alexander and Alaska's Sen. Lisa Murkowski - have now announced they've heard enough and will vote against calling witnesses.

Alexander says the president's actions regarding Ukraine, although inappropriate, don't meet the Constitution's high bar for an impeachable offense.
 
Maine Sen. Susan Collins, and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, do favor witnesses, but Senate Democrats would still need two more Republicans to vote with them to call witnesses, and that appears very unlikely at this point. If that fails, a vote to acquit the president could happen as soon as late tonight, or tomorrow.

But there are also reports the trial could stretch into next week, even without witnesses. So at the moment, there's no clear end date.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited with Ukrainian President Zelensky Friday, saying the US remains committed to supporting Ukraine's fight against Russia.

And President Trump blasted the impeachment efforts Thursday night at a rally in Iowa. "The Democrats are trying to overturn the last election. We will make sure that they face another crushing defeat," Trump said. 

The president also attacked what he calls "radical socialist" Democratic candidates. 

On the Democrat side, some strategists and even some Democratic politicians are concerned about the rise of self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders in the polls in Iowa and other key states. They worry Sanders might win early races and capture the party's nomination but then lose the general election to the president.

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