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Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, before the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. (AP Photo/ Jacquelyn Martin)

Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander is no Howard Baker — long said to be his mentor.

Rather than do the right thing and vote to allow witnesses to tell what they heard and saw President Donald Trump do as he tried to extort free opposition research on a political opponent from a foreign government by withholding military aid, Alexander in a long statement late Thursday night acknowledged Trump's wrongdoing, but gave him a pass.

Baker, on the other hand, saw the malevolence of Richard Nixon, also a fellow Republican, and helped force that president's resignation before impeachment was consummated. Not so, Alexander.

"[T]here is no need for more evidence to prove something that has already been proven," Alexander wrote. "There is no need for more evidence to prove that the president asked Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter; he said this on television on October 3, 2019, and during his July 25, 2019, telephone call with the president Ukraine. There is no need for more evidence to conclude that the president withheld United States aid, at least in part, to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens; the House managers have proved this with what they call a 'mountain of overwhelming evidence.'"

Yet Alexander also said there also is no need to consider the "frivolous" second article of impeachment that would remove the president "for asserting his constitutional prerogative to protect confidential conversations with his close advisers."

It's OK to cheat, bribe and obfuscate. Just pull down the curtain of government and do it in secret. And with that, Alexander tossed the cleanup problem back to the American people — the voters.

Heaven knows the cowardly Senate — especially Tennessee's senators — haven't the spine do anything about it.

Senator, isn't that what we elected a Congress and a Senate to do? In the words of our framers, your job was to represent us and put a check on a wholly unethical, criminal and incompetent president. Yet you wouldn't even vote to call witnesses.

Sen. Alexander has shamed us and Howard Baker.

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