One Democrat senator says not everyone in the GOP is happy with the way Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is handling President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate.
Speaking with the Connecticut Network’s Capitol News Briefing, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said as many as “five to 10” of his Republican colleagues have “very severe misgivings” about McConnell’s approach, USA Today reported Friday.
“I’ve talked to anywhere from five to 10 of my colleagues who have very severe misgivings about the direction that Mitch McConnell is going,” Blumenthal said Thursday, accusing McConnell of “denying a full, fair proceeding with witnesses and documents.”
Coordinating with the White House
Blumenthal isn’t the only one to allege that McConnell is overstepping his bounds. The majority leader ruffled feathers earlier this month when he told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that he’s “coordinating with White House counsel” on every part of the impeachment process.
“Exactly how we go forward, I’m going to coordinate with the president’s lawyers,” McConnell said, according to ABC News. “There’ll be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this.”
The Kentucky Republican went on to call the House’s case “so darn weak” before surmising: “We all know how it’s going to end. There is no chance the president is going to be removed from office. My hope is that there won’t be a Republican who votes for either of these articles of impeachment.”
Doing Trump’s bidding?
It remains unclear whether any Senate Republicans do plan on voting against President Trump, but McConnell’s statement to Hannity did get under the skin of at least one member of the GOP: Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
“When I heard that, I was disturbed,” she told local reporters in Alaska, according to NPR. And according to Blumenthal, she isn’t alone.
“I believe Sen. Murkowski is saying what a lot of my Republican colleagues are thinking, in fact, saying privately,” Blumenthal said Thursday. “My hope is that they will say publicly what Sen. Murkowski did, and really hold Mitch McConnell accountable.”
He went on to accuse McConnell of “sabotaging this proceeding by saying he won’t be impartial. He will do the president’s bidding,” Blumenthal alleged.
Unfortunately for Blumenthal, it is unlikely that any Republican senators will come out publicly against Trump — that is, if they want to keep their political careers. Still, another Connecticut Democrat, Sen. Chris Murphy, has suggested much of the same, saying there is “a small list, on one hand” of Republicans who would vote to remove Trump from office, according to Newsweek.
Whether Murphy and his Connecticut counterpart are telling the truth is unclear. But even if they are, Democrats in the Senate will need the support of at least 20 Republicans in order to remove Trump — and there is no indication that they have such numbers.