The 53 Republican senators who will be called upon to vote on whether or not to remove Donald Trump from office at the close of his current impeachment trial have received an ominous, behind-the-scenes warning from the president’s administration, according to a Twitter post from CBS News that was shared on Thursday.
“Vote against the president and your head will be on a pike,” read the warning, which was allegedly sent by a “POTUS confidant.”
So far, no Republican senators have shown public signs of breaking with the party to vote against Trump at any stage of the trial, even prior to the vote on whether to convict him and remove him from office. Some GOP senators have attempted to dismiss the entire proceeding as repetitious and boring, according to a report from Slate.
“They’re already repeating the same points they made for 13 hours yesterday,” Texas Republican Ted Cruz told reporters during a dinner recess during the impeachment trial’s third day on Thursday.
Other Republican senators complained that House impeachment managers, who serve in effect as prosecutors in the trial, were simply offering a “rehash” of points and information they had presented earlier, according to the Slate story.
Another Republican senator, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, simply said that she was tired, calling herself “a pooped puppy” late Thursday evening, following the close of proceedings after more than nine hours, according to a report on the day’s events by The Guardian.
While the exact method by which the Trump administration’s “head on a pike” threat was delivered is not known, one of the president’s top aides, Eric Ueland, told reporters that “the revenge” for the impeachment trial is coming soon.
The dismissive comments by Republicans who may have been on the receiving end of the Trump administration “head on a pike” warning came shortly before an emotional closing statement for the day, in which lead House impeachment manager Adam Schiff explicitly called for the president’s removal.
Appearing to address Republican senators directly, Schiff declared, “If you find him guilty, you must find that he must be removed,” according to the Guardian account.
“If the truth doesn’t matter, we’re lost,” he added in his appeal to the GOP lawmakers. “If right doesn’t matter, we’re lost.”
The most recent presentations by Schiff and his six fellow House impeachment managers were dedicated to arguments in favor of a guilty verdict on the first article against Trump, for abuse of power. The Senate is set to reconvene on Friday at 1 p.m. EST to hear arguments supporting the second article, which charges the president with obstructing the Congressional investigation into the alleged pressure campaign against Ukraine that forms the basis for his impeachment.