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Trump says House Democrats ‘unfortunately’ have the votes to impeach

President Trump on Friday said he believes House Democrats have the votes to impeach him, but expressed confidence that he would be exonerated in the Senate and Republicans would benefit at the polls.

Trump told reporters that he expected House Democrats to fall in line in support of his impeachment. The House is in the middle of an impeachment inquiry centered on allegations that Trump abused his office for personal gain by urging foreign leaders to investigate a political rival.

“They’re all in line. Because even though many of them don’t want to vote, they have no choice. They have to follow their leadership,” Trump said outside the White House. “And then we’ll get it to the Senate, and we’re going to win.”

“So the Democrats, unfortunately, they have the votes,” he added. “They can vote very easily, even though most of them, many of them, don’t believe they should do it. And I do believe … that they’re going to pay a tremendous price at the polls.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) last week announced the House had launched a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump based on his urging the Ukrainian president to look into Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden.

The House has spent the last 10 days interviewing witnesses and pressing the White House for documents as part of its probe, while Trump’s allies dismiss their efforts as political theater.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a close ally of Trump’s, argued Friday that Democrats should have to go on the record about their efforts to investigate Trump.

A simple majority of House members must vote in favor of an article of impeachment for the president to be impeached.

Democrats hold a 235-197 advantage in the House. To date, 226 Democratic lawmakers plus Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.) have voiced support for an impeachment inquiry or for impeachment.

Two-thirds of senators must vote to convict Trump for him to be removed from office, meaning roughly 20 Republicans would have to side against the president.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said this week he is obligated to do conduct a trial, and has indicated he will do so quickly if Trump is impeached in the House.

“I would have no choice but to take it up,” McConnell told CNBC on Monday.

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