Most Republicans are happy to bury their heads in the sand and vote to acquit Donald Trump in the upcoming Senate impeachment trial, despite a mountain of damning evidence and testimony that proves the president was shaking down a foreign government for political dirt.
But a handful of GOP senators – particularly those in vulnerable Senate seats like Colorado and Maine – are concerned that voting to clear Trump of any wrongdoing will come back to haunt them in 2020.
As MSNBC justice & security analyst Matt Miller said on Saturday, “You can see how nervous people like Cory Gardner are about it when you look at them struggle every time they have to answer the very simple question: Is it okay for the president of the United States to pressure or even ask a foreign government to investigate one of its political rivals?”
“They’re going to very much have to own the answer to that question if they vote to acquit him,” Miller added.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) December 7, 2019
You can see how nervous people like Cory Gardner are about it when you look at them struggle every time they have to answer the very simple question: Is it okay for the president of the United States to pressure or even ask a foreign government to investigate one of its political rivals? You see them kind of stammer and run for the hills rather than answer a very simple question. They’re going to very much have to own the answer to that question if they vote to acquit him. And I would make it very clear that that’ll be on the ballot. And yes, his past actions are the thing that are certainly up for them to decide in the Senate vote, but that includes everything going back to Russia, if you’re listening, because what it is that they’ll be voting on is obviously the articles of impeachment but they are taking up the pattern of Donald Trump asking foreign governments to intervene. Doing it in 2016. Doing it secretly with the president of Ukraine. Then doing it on the White House south lawn when he asked Ukraine to investigate again and asked China to do it. And I think if you’re a senator, you have to know the clear implication is he’s going to do it again in 2020 and he’s not just going to do this. He’s going to do everything within his powers, whether it’s legal or constitutional or appropriate or not, he’s going to use every power of the presidency to win re-election, and you, if you voted to acquit him, you’re responsible for that.
Not all Senate Republicans are standing firmly with Trump
Senators like Lindsey Graham and John Kennedy have gotten a lot of attention for shamelessly selling out to Russia in order to defend Trump, but not all Republicans are standing as firmly with the corrupt president.
There are a handful of Republican lawmakers, including Sens. Mitt Romney, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, who could vote to convict Trump in a Senate trial. Other Republicans, like Cory Gardner, also face pressure as they seek reelection.
At the end of the day, a Senate vote to convict Trump was always a pipe dream. But even if a few GOP senators defect and vote to remove him from office, it would be a serious blow to Donald Trump’s reelection chances.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.