Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said Saturday President Donald Trump was “crossing a line” by delaying assistance to Ukraine to “encourage” a probe of Joe Biden — but that voters, not the Senate, should decide his future in the Oval Office.
In an interview with NBC News’ “Meet The Press” to air Sunday, Alexander explained why he voted against a Democratic push to have more witnesses and documents introduced at the impeachment trial.
“I think he shouldn’t have done it. I think it was wrong,” Alexander said of Trump’s decision to withhold aid to press Ukraine on investigations.
“Inappropriate was the way I’d say — improper, crossing the line. And then the only question left is who decides what to do about that.”
“It struck me, really for the first time, early last week, that we’re not just being asked to remove the president from office. We’re saying, tell him he can’t run in the 2020 election which begins Monday in Iowa,” Alexander said.
“I think what he did is a long way from treason, bribery, high crimes, and misdemeanors. I don’t think it’s the kind of inappropriate action that the framers would expect the Senate to substitute its judgment for the people in picking a president.”
Democrats had hoped Alexander, who is retiring at the end of the year, would cross party lines to vote to allow new witnesses, including acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton.