Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
(R-Ky.) said on Thursday that he doubts any Republican senators will vote to convict President Trump
and remove him from office, and predicted some Democrats could also vote to acquit him.
Asked during an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity
if there he would be any GOP defections in the Senate, McConnell replied: “I doubt it.”
“I doubt it. There’s zero chance the president … would be removed from office, and I’m hoping we’ll have no defections at all,” McConnell said.
Republicans hold 53 seats in the Senate. Because 67 votes would be needed to convict Trump and remove him from office, it’s all but guaranteed that the president will ultimately be acquitted.
But there has been lingering speculation that at least one GOP senator could vote to convict Trump. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) grabbed headlines last week when he told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that he has talked to GOP senators who considering supporting impeachment but stressed “it’s a small list on one hand.”
The three senators have been largely tightlipped about the constant stream of headlines about Trump’s actions toward Ukraine and declined to speculate on the specifics of a Senate impeachment trial.
McConnell, however, argued that not only is he skeptical that a GOP senator would vote to convict Trump, but that he also believes they could pick up Democratic support to acquit him.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if we got one or two Democrats. It looks to me over in the House, the Republicans seem to be solid and the Democrats seem to be divided,” McConnell said.
Sens. Joe Manchin
(D-W.Va.), who won reelection last year in a red state, and Doug Jones (D-Ala.), who is running for reelection next year in a Trump-won state, are two Democratic senators who are viewed as potential Democratic swing votes.
Manchin told CNN on Wednesday that he’s “very much torn” about impeachment.
“I’m very much torn on it,” he added
. “I think it weighs on everybody.”