Sen. Lamar Alexander said in an upcoming interview it was “crossing the line” for President Donald Trump to delay nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine to force the country to investigate the Biden family's actions there.
Alexander was a crucial vote Friday against bringing in new witnesses in Trump’s impeachment trial, which Democrats argued could have offered new details about the president's decision to delay aid to Ukraine.
While Alexander contends that Trump’s actions were improper, he doesn’t believe they met the constitutional threshold for impeachment.
“I think he shouldn't have done it. I think it was wrong,” the retiring Tennessee Republican said during an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd that will air on NBC's “Meet the Press” on Sunday.
“I think what he did is a long way from treason, bribery, high crimes, and misdemeanors,” Alexander said. “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.”
Alexander said that “the only question left is who decides what to do about” Trump’s behavior.
“The people is my conclusion,” he said when pressed by Todd. "You know, 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 no more evidence was needed to prove the president froze the aid.
"Well, I mean, if you have eight witnesses who say someone left the scene of an accident, why do you need nine?" Alexander said. "I mean, the question for me was: Do I need more evidence to conclude that the president did what he did? And I concluded no."
The final vote on the two articles of impeachment is set for 4 p.m. on Wednesday, and will almost certainly lead to Trump's acquittal.