Vice President Mike Pence could ultimately end up playing a significant role in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial — and ensure that the case against the president isn’t even properly presented.
Pence, being the vice president, is also president of the Senate. And as such, he has the power to resolve ties when senators deadlock. In terms of the final vote to convict, Pence will not need to break any ties, because 67 votes are required. But many other aspects of the Senate trial will be decided by a simple majority, including the rules package, and whether to override Chief Justice John Roberts’ decisions on what evidence and testimony is admissible. And so even if a few Republicans break with their party on these issues, Pence may be able to step in and ensure the trial is conducted the way Trump wants it to be.
This thought occurred to CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, who discussed it with congressional correspondent Manu Raju on “The Situation Room.”
“There are 53 Republicans in the Senate and 47 Democrats,” said Blitzer. “But let’s say a couple of Republicans, or a few Republicans, decide they want to bolt from the Republican majority and it is a 50-50 tie. Does the president of the Senate Mike Pence, the vice president of the United States, is he going to be able to break that tie and get to 51?”
“It is an interesting question because we don’t know the answer to that yet,” said Raju. “It is not something ruled on by the Senate officially. So if that were to happen, that is an open question about whether or not Mike Pence, the vice president, could, in fact, break the tie, as he does on every Senate vote given his constitutional role as president of the Senate. Will he be able to vote to dismiss the charges against the president? That is still uncertain, and if we do get to that point that is drama on the floor of the Senate to determine whether or not he could do just that and if he can’t, then they’ll have to continue the trial and then eventually move forward to that final vote that would require 67 senators to vote to convict the president on the two charges, Wolf.”
Senators learn of damning timeline implicating Rudy Giuliani during Trump’s impeachment trial
On Thursday, during the third day of the impeachment trial, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) walked senators through the timeline of actions carried out by President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
"We've walked through some of the timeline of the actions and statements about Ukraine, but let's just line them up briefly because it makes the story so clear," said Lofgren. "April 2019. Vice President Biden officially announced his campaign for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. And a reminder, at the time of Biden's announcement and for months after, public polling, including from Fox News, showed that Biden would beat President Trump. The Fox News polling data is up on the chart."
WATCH: House Dem trolls Trump at impeachment by citing a Fox News poll showing him getting crushed by Biden
Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) on Thursday used a Fox News poll to establish President Donald Trump's motive for wanting to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden during the Senate impeachment trial.
In arguing that Trump's sole motivation for requesting that the Ukrainian government investigate Biden was to help with his own reelection campaign, she showed polls from the president's favorite cable news network that showed him getting absolutely crushed by the former vice president.
"The chart on the screen shows a Fox News poll emphasizing... that from March through December, Vice President Biden had consistently led President Trump in national polls by significant margins," she said. "Beginning around March, Vice President Biden is beating the president in polls, even on Fox News. In April, Biden officially announces his candidacy, and... that is when the president gets worried."
Rick Santorum flails wildly after CNN panel busts him for excusing Trump’s misconduct
Former GOP Sen. Rick Santorum on Thursday flailed wildly after a group of his fellow CNN panelists nailed him for excusing President Donald Trump's impeachable misconduct.
During a panel discussion about Republican Senators' unwillingness to call witnesses to Trump's impeachment trial, Santorum argued that additional witnesses weren't needed because Trump eventually released military aid to Ukraine after he got caught withholding it. Santorum also argued that the Senate should give Trump a pass even if he did shake down the Ukrainian government to hurt the campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden.