On Saturday, an author suggested that there could be a trap for President Trump being set in the Senate. Douglas MacKinnon suggests that there are concerns that several Senators may go against President Trump and support impeachment. He indicates that the Senate trial could be a trap for President Trump, even though multiple Senators have come out in support of him.
I understand what MacKinnon is saying in one sense, since President Trump has completely disrupted Washington. We’ve written about the Deep State and how there are many that seek to undermine President Trump. In his article, MacKinnon even discussed comments by Nikki Haley where she described Trump as a disruptor. But MacKinon did not stop there.
In his article, he suggests that the Senators have the weight of history on their shoulders. He also suggests that the White House should trust the Senators, but verify as former President Reagan stated. Again, I understand what he may be saying, but you have to think a little more about this. For any of these Republican Senators to defect from President Trump would be unprecedented in these circumstances.
If you look back for a reference point, we have to go back to the Clinton impeachment to have any information. In a quick search, I was able to find the results of the Senate vote in Clinton’s trial. Not one single Democrat voted guilty on either charge against President Clinton. There were some defections of the Republicans in voting not guilty, but not one single Democrat defected.
That vote was much further out from a presidential election that we currently are. With primary races looming for many Republicans in Congress, to defect now would be political suicide in most instances. A few of the candidates may survive such a vote, but it would not be easy.
I would agree that there are only three Senators to look at here, as The Hill suggested last week. Romney, Collins and Murkowski are the three Senators that may defect. While it makes for great headlines to say that there is a group, this is far from a large group. None of these three are considered hardcore Republicans either.
Even if there are defections, I see no path to 67 votes that are needed in the Senate to convict President Trump. I believe that McConnell is taking the correct path in seeking to vote on acquittal rather than dismissing the charges. This does a few things. One, it raises the threshold of votes needed. Two, eliminates the risk of a tie. Either way, it is the right move for Republicans. How quickly they move this through the Senate? That will be the interesting story.
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