Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was once confident he could get rid of the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. As more information becomes available, however, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
A CNN report explained Monday that despite Trump’s urging, forcing senators to vote against a fair trial would put Republicans up for reelection in danger of losing their seats.
At the same time, the polling isn’t in Trump’s favor. As CNN’s Manu Raju explained, the new Quinnipiac University showed that 51 percent of voters support impeachment, while 46 percent believe he should be convicted and removed from office. A full 66 percent of Americans want John Bolton to testify, which shows alarming support for a fair trial with witnesses.
Q poll finds 51% of voters support Trump’s impeachment; 46% believe he should be convicted and removed from office; 66% want Bolton to testify https://t.co/Lf8eZKm5xA
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 13, 2020
FiveThirtyEight gives Quinnipiac a B+ in their polling, noting that their margin of error is closer to 4.6 percent, which is different from what Quinnipiac cites.
“McConnell has made clear to his colleagues that he wants Trump to emerge victorious in the trial and is not willing to hold a vote that could fail, sources said,” wrote CNN’s Manu Raju, Phil Mattingly and Ted Barrett. “He’s also keenly aware of what a vote to dismiss would look like politically, according to Republican senators, and has shepherded his conference away from the idea for several weeks.”
It takes 67 votes to convict and remove Trump from office. However, it takes just 34 votes to acquit Trump and stop the trial in its tracks. McConnell signed onto a resolution sponsored by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) that would dismiss the impeachment outright.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said over the weekend that dismissing the impeachment and refusing to hold a trial with witnesses is akin to a “cover-up.”
Trump, by contrast, thinks the whole thing is a “witch hunt,” and is refusing to cooperate.