After 10 hours having questions answered in the Senate, Sen. James Lankford, R-OK, said he does not believe President Donald Trump should be removed from office. He also balked at the idea of having witnesses at the trial.
“As I look at all the facts on the case, I don’t see anything that warrants removal of a president from office, that rises to that level,” Lankford said in his now daily video update on Facebook. “The second thing, I also have plenty of my questions answered at this point, and so I don’t see a need to have additional witnesses.”
Lankford has said before he was not moved by the arguments of House impeachment managers although at the outset of proceedings, he told The Oklahoman newspaper, Democrats’ arguments brought up “reasonable questions that reasonable people should ask.”
Earlier this week, Lankford said Senators should be allowed to read the manuscript of the forthcoming book by former National Security Advisor John Bolton. In the book, Bolton reportedly wrote that Trump told him to withhold aid to Ukraine in order to secure an investigation into Fmr. Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. Bolton has said he was willing to testify in the Senate. Lankford’s suggestion was bandied about by Senators, including Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-SC, who is one of the President’s most vocal supporters.
Lankford has spent the better portion of the post-trial time on national television and radio. With his normally stoic demeanor and baritone voice, Lankford is no stranger to the media spotlight, but he has become something of a public face for Senate Republicans during the impeachment process. The junior Senator is considered to be less provocative and far less combative than other, normally more high-profile senators who take to the national pundit and news shows.
In all, Lankford along with the other 99 members of the Senate, have heard nearly 60 hours of arguments and answers during the Senate trial so far with another eight hours of questions set for Thursday.