Washington-The Democrats will need at least 17 Republican senators to break the ranks and be convicted after President Donald Trump was impeached Wednesday on Wednesday. This is a high threshold that requires changing the minds of legislators who support him.
This is more than 10 House Republicans who broke with the president in the most bipartisan impeachment vote in American history, who accused Trump of inciting rebellion.
Even if Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell publicly expressed support for Trump’s belief in the role played in the deadly attack on him and his employees on the Capitol, one-third of the Republican Senate Caucus A vote to convict is no easy task.
Trump maintains a high approval rating and has an enthusiastic following among some Republican voters. In the Quinnipiac poll after the riots, he still held a 71% approval rating for Republican voters.
Punishing Trump will make the Senate from the office that is constantly seeking re-election and immediately reshape the 2024 Republican presidential primaries. He was originally a candidate.
But impeachment is essentially a political affair, and even the trial after Trump’s term expires will be full of political calculations. It may be a senator who may seek re-election or a person running for president himself.
Now that the Republicans control the Senate, the Democrats have set the president-elect Biden to take the oath of office as the new president on January 20. A long trial of the new president may hinder Biden’s early days in office. This may be a function of taking over different senators later error.
Once all the newly elected members of the Senate seat, the chamber will be divided into 50-50 and incoming Vice President Kamala Harris will vote for the tiebreaker.
A few Republican senators have criticized Trump and expressed their willingness to support impeachment. But to secure a conviction, more votes will be needed, and supporters may seek to retire senators or other long-term members who are considered institutionalists.
But this can be difficult.
The result may be attributed to McConnell, who has a deep trust in the core team. If he supports the conviction, he may cause more reluctant senators to follow suit.
But for now, the Kentucky Republican said he has not yet decided.
The spokesperson said: “I have not made a final decision on the voting method. When the Senate raises these legal arguments, I intend to listen to these legal arguments.”
The relationship between McConnell and Trump is complex-personalities are extremely opposite, and they firmly support allies on certain policy goals. McConnell broke with Trump last week and passionately rejected the president’s efforts to overthrow the election.
McConnell is not in a hurry for a trial. His office stated that he would not be brought back to the Senate before January 19.This means that the trial will almost certainly end with Biden as president and the Democratic Party–Senate control.
The factions in the impeachment trial
Liam Donovan, a lobbyist and former Senate Republican campaign activist, said McConnell was clearly willing to consider conviction, “suddenly making the incredible breakup with Trump a very important thing. “
Donovan said: “I am still skeptical, just because 17 is still a daunting number.” “McConnell’s ruthless behavior alone will bear a ton of weight.”
Utah Senator Mitt Romney is seen as the Republican most likely to support the conviction because he is the only member of the party who voted to remove Trump from office in the first impeachment trial last year. In addition, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski and retired Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey both said Trump should resign. Central Senator Susan Collins of Maine may be a supporter of the conviction, as will Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska.
After those five, it becomes more tricky.
A group of institutionalists in the 1980s may be considering retirement: Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama and Senator James of Oklahoma. Inhoff.
Other targets may be to criticize Trump’s attempts to overthrow the elected senators, including Ohio Senator Rob Portman and Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy. The retired North Carolina Senator Richard Burr is another possibility.
That’s not enough.
Utah Senator Mike Lee of Utah and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky have two wildcards. They claim to be “constitutional conservatives” and are unwilling to vote with Trump to overturn the election even before the riots destroy the Capitol. However, both are very supportive of Trump, and Paul will face voters in Crimson Kentucky next year.
The key question, then, is how McConnell will work hard to get fellow Republicans to vote and convict-how many people are willing to follow him. Two members of his leadership team, Missouri Senator Roy Brent and South Dakota Senator John Thun, face the main challenge of running for re-election in 2022 and putting risks.
Senator Jonny Ernst of Iowa and Senator Todd Young of Indiana have two other people who have more time to face voters again and may be more willing to follow McConnell.
McConnell’s position may also be voted by senators such as North Dakota Senator Kevin Kramer and South Dakota Senator Mike Lenz. But intense politics and the deep fractures of the shaken Republicans may disrupt any typical calculations.
A senior Republican aide told NBC News that if McConnell attended the meeting, the vote might convict Trump. But the former Senate Republican staff member said he may need to work for this.
“If McConnell wants to say’I want to vote on the convicted,’ but this is a vote of conscience, it is still difficult to reach the age of 17. He needs to work hard,” and his former colleague and provided a frank assessment under anonymous conditions. “In this case, you can easily get 10 votes. But 11 votes to 17 votes may be more difficult.”