'Fear of what Trump will do' if he runs again may 'tempt' GOP senators to vote for impeachment: report
Donald Trump (AFP)

While the Democratic leadership of the House and the Senate is working on a plan to present the articles of impeachment filed against Donald Trump to the U.S. Senate for a trial and vote, Republican senators are looking at the pluses and minus of abandoning their support of the former president.

With former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) opening the door to possibly siding with the Democrats against the former president now residing down in Florida, the Guardian is reporting that there are a multitude of reasons for GOP lawmakers to follow suit including the dread of having Trump as the face of their party again.

As the Guardian's Tom McCarthy wrote, "If convicted, Trump could be banned from ever again holding public office. If not, Trump, who won the votes of 74 million Americans just two months ago, might simply run for president again in 2024," before conceding that it is highly unlikely 17 Republicans would vote to convict.

But, as he points out, the "political landscape" where Republicans reflexively supported the president has changed since the election and even more so before supporters of the president stormed the U.S. Capitol and threatened lawmakers' lives.

"Disgust at the fatal sacking of the Capitol has only grown since 6 January, creating pressure on Republicans to condemn Trump, who appeared in person to speak to the mob before the attack and encouraged them to march on the building," he explained. "Some Republicans might be eager to condemn Trump for other reasons, blaming him for their loss of the Senate majority, which happened because Republican candidates lost two runoff elections in Georgia in January, in a huge double upset."

Add to that, at least six Republican members of the Senate have indicated they are eyeing a presidential run in 2024, and having the ex-president sidelined might be in their best interests.

According to the columnist, it is "unclear how many Republicans might follow McConnell if he indeed tips toward convicting Trump," after only 10 GOP House members voted in favor of Trump's second impeachment, but there is a powerful incentive for senators to convict the president who has already vowed to help oust incumbents who did not support him.

"Up for election only once every six years versus every other year for House members, senators are more insulated from political tides. Anger at how Trump has divided their party could tempt some Republicans toward banishing him, as could fear of what Trump will do if he is permitted to run for office again," McCarthy wrote.

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