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What the Republican Senators Most Likely to Convict Trump Have Said About Impeachment

slate.com
7 min read
standard
"When the president incites an attack against Congress, there must be a meaningful consequence."
The House of Representatives is expected to vote Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump, charging him with "incitement of insurrection" for his role in last week's riots at the Capitol. It's expected the vote will easily pass the 50 percent threshold needed and that a number of Republicans will join their Democratic colleagues in sanctioning the president.

The Senate would then hold a trial on the article of impeachment. (This trial will not occur until after Joe Biden has been sworn in as president, as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will not reconvene this week. But constitutional experts believe there is no reason Congress can't convict a president after he has left office—and sanctions could include a ban on Trump running for president or holding public office again.) To convict Trump, the Senate would need a two-thirds majority. If every Democrat in the new Senate voted to convict, 17 Republicans would need to join. In Trump's first impeachment trial, only one—Utah Sen. Mitt Romney—voted against the president.

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While it remains unlikely to happen, it's no longer unthinkable. A number of Republicans in the House—Reps. John Katko, Adam Kinzinger, Fred Upton, and, most prominently, Liz Cheney—have thrown their support behind the effort. (CNN reported that the White House is pressuring lawmakers and that "they want to vote to impeach but they legitimately fear for their lives and their families' lives.") Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, said in a statement that "there has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution." House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who has floated the idea of asking Trump to resign, decided against whipping votes on impeachment, according to the New York Times.

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Molly Olmstead
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