Some Republican senators are coming around to view Donald Trump’s actions toward Ukraine as “demonstrably impeachable,” one of their Democratic colleagues says.
Whether those Republicans will actually vote to remove Trump from office remains to be seen.
Delaware Sen. Chris Coons said on Thursday that some of his Republican colleagues have been convinced that Trump deserves to be impeached for his actions to push Ukraine into launching an investigation of his political rival, Joe Biden. As Newsweek reported, Coons appeared on CNN and shared some details about how a potential trial of Trump would play out if the House were to pass articles of impeachment.
Coons noted that the Republican-controlled Senate will be able to set the rules of the trial, and that it would take a significant number of Republicans to break from Trump in order to reach the two-thirds threshold needed to remove him from office. While Coons said that some of the lawmakers across the aisle believed that Trump deserved to be impeached, he was not sure if they would follow through with voting to convict.
“We will be relying on a small number of Republicans who are pushing back… and recognize that impeachment is a serious, significant constitutional moment,” Coons said. “There are, I believe, a few Republicans who recognize that what President Trump did here was demonstrably impeachable, but are very concerned about the political consequences for them and their party.”
Others have predicted that Republican senators may not have an easy time defending Trump while expressing doubts about whether they would turn on him publicly. Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown shared a similar sentiment in an appearance on the Skullduggery podcast. As Yahoo! News noted in a report last month, Brown said that Republicans in private have not been willing to defend Trump’s actions, but don’t air those concerns.
“I hear Republican members of the Senate say things like, ‘We know he’s pretty crooked, he lies a lot, he’s a pretty bad guy.’ Some of them will say, ‘We know he’s a racist.’ But they are not saying it publicly,” Brown said.
The prospect of Trump being impeached grew significantly on Thursday as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she was asking the House to file articles of impeachment. There appears to be sufficient support among House Democrats to approve the articles of impeachment and ultimately impeach the president, sending the decision to the Senate on whether to convict Trump and remove him from office.