Alexander said the case had been proved. Trump was guilty. He was just not going to convict.

“Wrong and inappropriate,” said Sen. Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican who repeatedly asked the administration to release the aid to Ukraine. That was in a statement when he declared he wanted to hear no more.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, a moderate Republican who delivered the death blow for a Democrat-led bid to hear from more witnesses, instead attacked Congress for not doing its job.

The terrible-but-not-impeachable defense rang hollow to some of the president’s critics. Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), one of the House impeachment managers, talked of the “Dershowitz Principle of Constitutional Lawlessness,” referring to Alan Dershowitz, one of Trump’s attorneys, and his expansive legal arguments.