Updated: All eyes on Alexander

Sandra ClarkGossip and Lies

Sen. Lamar Alexander announced late Thursday that he will vote against opening the Trump impeachment trial to witnesses. Here is his statement: Lamar Alexander Statement on Impeachment


Reporter/columnist Keel Hunt published a provocative blog post called “What Will Alexander Do?” on Wednesday. Spoiler alert: Hunt concludes that nobody knows.

Those who have been watching the impeachment trial of Donald Trump realize that a key vote today or Friday will determine whether witnesses will be called and the trial extended. Four Republicans must join with all Democratic senators to hit the magic number – 51 – to open up the proceedings. President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell want a quick conclusion with no witnesses.

Alexander has been considered a possible vote for witnesses, along with Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. Sen. Mitt Romney has said he favors calling John Bolton to testify. Alexander is playing coy, but his last name puts him first on the roll-call list.

Without witnesses, the trial ends quickly with Trump’s job secure. I’m guessing that’s what will happen, with Alexander leading the way.

Winners, losers

Winner: Glenn Jacobs. The big guy overcame scattered opposition to get an 11-0 win on his plan to lock Knox County into a lease for the TVA East Tower.

Loser: Steve Hunley. The newspaper/gasoline/dry cleaner/auction company mogul used to wrangle a reliable majority on Knox County Commission. It evaporated this week.

Winner: Chief Justice John Roberts. Cool dude chairing impeachment trial. He’s got to have a cheat sheet to call all those senators by name.

Loser: Lamar Alexander. His upcoming vote to call or deny witnesses in the Trump impeachment trial is both pivotal and doomed. He can’t win.

Lawyers weigh in

David Buuck edged Cathy Quist Shanks in a lawyers’ poll of candidates for county law director. Yes, Virginia, we elect that position. Eric Lutton got the nod over Rhonda Lee for public defender, while Kyle Hixson squeaked by Wesley Stone for judge of Criminal Court Division II. Read the full survey: Knox Bar Poll

It’s odd to see the Knoxville Bar Association making recommendations in a Republican Primary since most lawyers lean Democratic.

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of KnoxTNToday.com


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