Trump impeachment talks have been water-cooler conversation since the president took office. The general consensus has been that with a Republican-controlled House and Senate, a Trump impeachment is impossible to achieve. However, a Republican shift has been witnessed in recent days, after Trump’s controversial Charlottesville remarks, and at least 12 Republican Senators might now vote against the president in impeachment hearings, reports Newsweek.
For the president to be impeached, the articles of impeachment would need to first be passed in the House of Representatives. Then, a Senate trial would ensue. Two-thirds of the Senate would need to vote in favor of a Trump impeachment.
Today, the number of Republican senators that would vote against Trump in an impeachment trial has reportedly risen. Newsweek reports a two-thirds vote against Trump could be just six Senate votes shy for impeachment, as 12 Republican Senators say they have “no fear of Donald Trump.”
They aren’t the only Republicans speaking out against the president in recent days. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is reportedly furious with Donald Trump. Former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has decried Trump’s statements following the Charlottesville protests that left one anti-Nazi protester dead.
The controversial comments occurred on Tuesday in a press conference at Trump Tower, when the President of the United States said that “both sides” were to blame for the deadly violence that happened in Charlottesville. Also at that press conference, Trump talked about jobs, the stock market, and how many Republicans he beat in the primaries, reports ABC News.
Trump also said the mother of the slain woman, Heather Heyer, sent him some kind comments that he very much appreciated. However, since saying there were “good people” at the white nationalist rally, Heather Heyer’s mother has said she has had a change of heart and would not accept a call from the president at this time, reports ABC affiliate Local 10.
The victim’s mother isn’t the only one who finds Trump’s comments shameful. The New York Times reports that Mitt Romney, 2012 presidential candidate for the GOP, wrote a post on Facebook asking the president to apologize, adding that Trump should address the situation with “unprecedented candor and strength.”
“Whether he intended to or not, what he communicated caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast hart of America to mourn. His apologists strain to explain that he didn’t mean what we heard. But what we heard is now the reality, unless it is addressed by the president as such, with unprecedented candor and strength, there may commence an unraveling of our national fabric.”
Mitt Romney is one of many Republicans upset about the president’s statements. USA Today reports that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took some time to address the matter because he was “livid.”
Senator McConnell is reportedly a pro-Civil Rights Republican and lived through the 1960s in Kentucky and was instrumental in passing the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Act. Senator McConnell ultimately issued a statement saying there are “no good neo-Nazis,” but he did not mention Trump by name.
Doug Heye, a strategist for the Republican National Committee and a staff member to George W. Bush Administration, said every Republican member he’s talked to about it has been “apoplectic.”
“Every member I’ve talked to has been apoplectic about it. This is just the beginning. The potential for it to be really bad is real.”
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has also decried racism and white supremacists without mentioning the president’s name. USA Today reports that the latest Gallup poll shows that the president still has 79 percent approval among Republicans, but that if that number dips any lower in the coming days, Trump could be in danger of impeachment.
Vin Weber, another member of the Republican Party who has advised both Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney, has echoed Doug Heye’s statements.
“You don’t un-ring the bell, but Republicans need to find some way of going on the record, stating very clearly that we are separating ourselves from this faction of our party regardless of its size.”
Weber suggested a congressional resolution on the matter once Congress returns from recess.
Republican support for the president is already waning, and quickly, according to Time Magazine. The publication reports that 52 percent of Americans feel that his statement on the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend was “not strong enough.” Only 59 percent of Republicans supported Trump’s remarks.
Several resignations from the Trump Administration have already occurred since the remarks, with the resignations clearly noting those remarks as the driving force behind their resignations. Resignations occurred from the manufacturing council and strategy forum, which disbanded shortly after the remarks, notes Time Magazine.
An open letter to Jews on Medium is calling for more resignations for those that work for Trump in the White House, including the resignation of Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
“The President has no filter….if he were an anti-Semite – a Nazi sympathizer, a friend of the Jew-hating Klan – we would know about it, by now. By now, he would surely have told us. Yesterday, in a long and ragged off-the cuff address to the press corps, President Trump told us.”
The open letter to Jews asks Steven Mnuchin, Gary Cohn, and “other fellow Jews currently serving under this odious regime” to resign. It also asks Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, to fire his client. It also offered harsh words to Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.
“To Jared Kushner: You have one minute to do whatever it takes to keep the history of your people from looking back on you as among its greatest traitors, and greatest fools; that minute is nearly past. To Ivanka Trump: Allow us to teach you an ancient and venerable phrase, long employed by Jewish parents and children to one another at such moments of family crisis: I’ll sit shiva for you. Try it out on your father; see how it goes.”
Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating the Trump Russia scandal, has asked Trump to clarify his statements, reports the Bangor Daily News. In a tour of the L.L. Bean manufacturing facility on Thursday, she said he needs to make a statement that is “crystal clear” that he won’t tolerate bigotry.
Even though she has decried his statements, Senator Collins does not believe the statements alone are impeachable offenses.
“If you look at some of the chants, such as ‘blood and soil’ that is a Nazi chant and to hear it is chilling in this day and age, so I hope the president will give a very strong statement that removes any question about where he stands…When he says that there were some ‘fine people’ in that group, it sends the wrong message at a time when we need leadership. There’s certainly no grounds for impeachment based on speech – we have the First Amendment – but there is a moral obligation to speak out.”
Senator Collins also noted that she is a Catholic and knows Maine’s “painful history” of how the Ku Klux Klan attacked Catholicism. She says it is “hateful ideology” and that Americans need to “speak out forcefully.” She says that’s what she wants to see the president do.
The two most recent Republican presidents in contemporary history, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, have spoken out against the president as well, reports the Guardian. They issued a joint statement saying they condemn “racial bigotry, antisemitism, and hatred” and used the Declaration of Independence to back up their statements.
“America must always reject racial bigotry, antisemitism and hatred in all its forms. As we pray for Charlottesville, we are reminded of the fundamental truths recorded by that city’s most prominent citizen in the Declaration of Independence: we are all created equal and endowed by our creator with unalienable rights. We know these truths to be everlasting because we have seen the decency and greatness of our country.”
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has been more vocal and addressed the president by name. The Guardian reports that he told the president he was “dividing Americans, not healing them.”
“Through his statements yesterday, President Trump took a step backward by again suggesting there is moral equivalency between the white supremacist neo-Nazis and KKK members who attended the Charlottesville rally and people like Ms. Heyer. I, along with many others do not endorse this moral equivalency. Many Republicans do not agree with and will fight back against the idea that the party of Lincoln has a welcome mat out of the David Dukes of the world.”
Newsweek reports that in addition to the Republicans who aren’t in office speaking out against Trump, many Republicans in the Senate concur with Senator Lindsey Graham and are coming out against the president after Charlottesville. Newsweek notes that Trump could be just six Senate votes from impeachment, as 12 Republican Senators have suggested they could vote against him if the topic arose.
This comes from an analysis from the Washington-based Center for Effective Public Management, who said these 12 Republican senators had “no fear of the president.” If those senators combined with 48 Democrats on a vote to impeach Trump, they would only be six votes shy of a conviction for impeachment in the Senate.
However, Newsweek notes that “forces now in motion” could culminate in this Trump impeachment vote. Those forces are not exclusive to Charlottesville but to a culmination of factors clouding the Trump Administration including investigations into his campaign, evidence of weakness within the Republican base and party, and defiance of Trump in the Senate by Republicans.
That defiance has already been witnessed with Trump’s failed attempts at passing a health care bill. Many Republicans today are also in defiance of his comments in Charlottesville. Whether this culmination of events will impeach Trump remains to be seen.
[Feature Image by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Images]