If the House of Representatives votes to impeach President Donald Trump, his fate will hinge on a Senate trial. But while the GOP holds a majority in the upper chamber, a new report from The Hill suggests that Trump is far from guaranteed a victory.
In a report Saturday, The Hill’s Alexander Bolton names what he calls a “handful” of Senate Republicans who will likely vote to convict Trump — including Sens. Susan Collins (ME), Mitt Romney (UT), and Lisa Murkowski (AK).
Collins caves to the left?
For her part, Collins is widely considered to be one of the GOP’s most liberal senators. According to NBC News, she wavered over whether to vote in favor of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, and there are indications that Collins may be on the fence about Trump’s removal.
“I’m definitely reading materials,” Collins told reporters in November, according to Bolton. “I’ve started reviewing the transcripts. My staff is doing summaries of some of the witnesses. I’ve asked them to compile each day the major moments in the hearings in the House.”
But Bolton points out that voting to convict the president could bring electoral consequences for Collins. “The one worry that she has would be the primary,” explained Bowdoin College government professor Janet Martin. “Paul LePage has returned to Maine to make it known that even he would run against her if she didn’t toe the line, which would mean support for Donald Trump.”
Romney remains “really troubled”
Another vote to convict Trump could come from Utah’s Mitt Romney. The senator has long been a bitter critic of the president, although he did seek Trump’s endorsement during his own presidential run in 2012, The Washington Post notes.
Still, a former Romney campaign insider told The Hill that he is skeptical Romney will ultimately vote to convict. “My guess is that Sen. Romney, although he’s going to be really troubled by this, is going to come to the conclusion the country’s interests are not served by removing Donald Trump from office,” Romney’s 2012 campaign adviser, Vin Weber, told Bolton.
Bolton also reported that Sen. Lisa Murkowski, an Alaskan lawmaker who, like Collins, has a more liberal track record, may also vote to convict Trump. According to The New York Times, Murkowski voted against Kavanaugh’s confirmation, but the president remains relatively popular in her state — so she may end up siding with Trump after all.
The tip of the iceberg?
According to Bolton, these senators are just the tip of the iceberg. “After Collins, Romney and Murkowski,” he writes, “there is a larger group of GOP senators who have publicly or privately expressed concern over Trump’s withholding of military aid to Ukraine and his attempt to persuade Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to conduct a corruption investigation.”
Bolton specifically names senators like Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rob Portman (R-OH), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Tim Scott (R-SC). Still, “none of them are seen as being close to voting for any articles of impeachment, barring a major revelation of new information,” Bolton reported.
Indeed, with the Dems lacking in evidence and Trump’s approval among Republicans on the up-and-up, things are still looking good for the president as he looks to 2020. But with at least three traitors in the GOP, you can bet Democrats running against him will be seizing on what they’ll undoubtedly call a “bipartisan” impeachment attempt.