In a letter to his Republican colleagues on Saturday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell revealed he plans to vote to acquit former President Donald Trump in the Senate impeachment trial. Despite his public support of Trump, Newsmax White House Correspondent Emerald Robinson argued that McConnell privately wants to convict the real estate mogul.
“Mitch McConnell has now told his Republican colleagues: he won’t vote to convict President Trump,” she tweeted.
“That means McConnell is finished as a leader. Why? Because McConnell wanted Trump convicted. This is his show. He pushed this sham until it was clear that he didn’t have the votes.”
According to CNN, McConnell has told people in private that he wants Trump gone.
“It is in his political interest to have him gone. It is in the GOP interest to have him gone. The question is, do we get there?” one GOP lawmaker told the publication.
Reports of McConnell’s desire for Trump’s conviction came as the news outlet claimed dozens of influential Washington Republicans were “quietly lobbying” GOP lawmakers to impeach and convict the former president.
As reported by Politico, McConnell previously suggested Trump could face criminal prosecution for his conduct in office after leaving the White House. Notably, Sen. Roy Blunt, a member of the GOP leadership team, suggested McConnell’s comments over the past two months made it impossible to determine his plan of action.
“He said everybody should make this decision and their own and I guess he thought that that would apply to him as well.”
At the same time as McConnell appeared supportive of convicting Trump, reports claimed the GOP leader was scared of corporate America’s response to the Capitol riot. In particular, some of the largest corporate Republican Party donors cut ties with lawmakers who continued to oppose the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory after the storming of the Capitol.
As of now, it appears as if Trump is on his way to being acquitted. According to Politico, Republicans have privately estimated that five-to-10 of their senators are seriously considering voting to convict the former president. Notably, six of the party’s lawmakers voted to move forward with the impeachment trial — although the publication suggested this number could be lower than the total considering conviction.
Elsewhere, one GOP senator who spoke anonymously to Politico said they would be surprised if more than six of their colleagues voted to convict Trump. Nevertheless, they underlined that the true vote count was impossible to determine.