It’s widely considered a foregone conclusion that if President Donald Trump is impeached, he will be acquitted in a Senate trial. Assuming all Democrats vote to convict the president, they would need 20 Republican senators to join with them, and there is no real indication — despite rumors — that the GOP yet has an appetite for throwing out their own leader.
But even now, few Republicans are willing to commit to protect the president unequivocally in a Senate trial. According to the right-wing Daily Caller, of all 53 Republican senators, only 7 definitively said they would vote to acquit the president.
The seven hard nos came from Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Rob Portman (R-OH), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Mike Rounds (R-SD).
“Democrats have been trying to impeach President Trump from the moment he was elected, and they continue to play partisan political games to try to overturn the results of the 2016 election and influence the 2020 election,” said Tillis, who is one of the least popular senators in America and is gearing up for a tough re-election fight in 2020. “Democrats are taking a page out of the Kavanaugh playbook by flooding the zone with baseless allegations and denying any sort of due process.”
“Speaker Pelosi’s actions are a rush to judgment and were made before most of the facts were known … Since President Trump’s election, Democrats have been trying to delegitimize his presidency, and if unfounded, impeachment of President Trump would only further fracture our already divided country,” said Moran.
Most other GOP senators either did not return comment, or released statements disapproving of the impeachment investigation but did not definitively commit to vote against removal when all the evidence has been presented. One prototypical response came from retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who said that “impeachment would be a mistake” but that “as a potential juror, I will have nothing more to say about impeachment until all the evidence is presented and all the arguments are made.”
There is still no indication that Republican senators will turn on Trump in the numbers required to remove him from office. But the vast majority of them, it seems, at least want to keep open the option.