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Key U.S. senator Alexander says he will not vote for impeachment witnesses

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) arrives at the U.S. Capitol before the start of the day's Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in Washington, U.S., January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican Senator Lamar Alexander said on Thursday that he would vote against calling witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, dealing a blow to Democrats who had hoped to hear from current and former top Trump aides.

Alexander was one of a handful of Republicans that Democrats had hoped would side with them to reach a 51-vote majority necessary to call witnesses and subpoena other evidence.

Reporting by Makini Brice and Andy Sullivan