Which Senators Are Likely to Convict Trump?

Mish

President Trump was impeached for the second time. The spotlight turns to a Senate Trial. Where do the Senators stand?

Impeachment Conviction

It takes a two-thirds majority of those present at the trial to convict Trump. That means 67-33 if all the Senators turn up to vote.

Yesterday, I came up with 14 Republican Senators who were likely to strongly consider convicting Trump. 

My list, in alphabetic order, includes Burr, Collins, Crapo, Grassley, Lee, McConnell, Murkowski, Portman, Romney, Sasse, Sullivan, Thune, Tillis, and Toomey. 

While researching my list for other names, I found a couple of helpful articles by others doing the same thing.

Slate List 

The Slate asked the question, What the Republican Senators Most Likely to Convict Trump Have Said About Impeachment?

  • "Most Powerful Reported Supporter" Mitch McConnell (1)
  • "Usual Suspects" Lisa Murkowski, Sue Collins, Mitt Romney (3)
  • "Trump Critics" Pat Toomey, Ben Sasse (2)
  • "Reluctant Trump Critics" Shelley Moore Capito, Richard Burr, and Mike Lee (3)
  • "Unlikely But Possible" Rob Portman, Roy Blunt, and Todd Young (3)
  • "Wild Cards" Jerry Moran, Mike Rounds, Bill Cassidy, Thom Tillis, Chuck Grassley, Joni Ernst, Tom Cotton, and John Thune (8) 

That's a list of 20. But I solidly rule out Blunt and Cotton, and highly doubt Ernst.

Cotton says it's unconstitutional for a vote after Trump is out of office. Ernst wants to "move on". 

The Slate calls Grassley a "wild card" but I believe he is much stronger because Grassley Made This Statement: There's 'very little opportunity' for Trump to lead the Republican Party, regardless of impeachment

The Slate failed to mention Crapo but I found this statement as a reason to place him on my list. 

“Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution is clear. Election laws are entrusted to the states. The Constitution and the statutory law of the United States give explicit jurisdiction over the certification of the Electoral College electors to the states. Through the Electoral College, the election of the president is entrusted to the states, not to Congress. When disputes arise, adjudication rests in the courts. Any effort by Congress to abandon the Electoral College’s constitutional significance for states to certify and send their Electors would set a dangerous precedent I cannot support. To undercut this system would inevitably lead to federalizing our election process and remove the authority of states under the Constitution. This is an outcome many have sought for years, but it would be a serious mistake. It would gravely diminish Idaho’s role in electing future presidents. I took a solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, to bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and to faithfully discharge the duties of the office I represent. That is why I will not join efforts to have Congress reject validly certified Electoral College votes.” 

If you take the Slate's top 4 categories and add Portman, you are up to 10 needing another 7. Why Portman?

Portman says Trump 'bears some responsibility' for riot. Calls on Trump to address the nation.

Note that Trump called Thune a RINO and pledged to get someone to run against him, so I have Thune a probable, not a wild card. 

I also have Dan Sullivan on my list. but with far less conviction, based on this Tweet.

As noted, the Slate missed Crapo and Sullivan. I also think Tillis and Thune are a bit more than wild cards. 

That's how I got to 14. 

Who Can We Rule Out?

Another way to approach this topic is to ask. Senators don't respond to me but they did, at least partially, to an Inquiry by CBS.

The names in Bold are on my list.

Would consider

  1. Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania)
  2. Ben Sasse (Nebraska)
  3. Mitt Romney (Utah)

Oppose

  1. Marco Rubio (Florida)
  2. Rand Paul (Kentucky)
  3. Cindy Hyde-Smith (Mississippi) 
  4. Roger Wicker (Mississippi) 
  5. Roy Blunt (Missouri) 
  6. Steve Daines (Montana)
  7. Kevin Cramer (North Dakota) 
  8. Tim Scott (South Carolina) 
  9. Ted Cruz (Texas) 
  10. Lindsey Graham (South Carolina)

Responded but declined to say what vote would be

  1. Mike Crapo (Idaho)
  2. Susan Collins (Maine)
  3. Joni Ernst (Iowa) 
  4. Todd Young (Indiana)
  5. Rick Scott (Florida) 
  6. Jim Risch (Idaho) 
  7. John Cornyn (Texas) 
  8. Cynthia Lummis (Wyoming)

Did not respond to CBS News' request for comment

  1. Richard Shelby (Alabama)
  2. Tommy Tuberville (Alabama)
  3. Daniel Sullivan (Alaska)
  4. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
  5. John Boozman (Arkansas)
  6. Tom Cotton (Arkansas)
  7. Kelly Loeffler (Georgia) [Mish Note: Gone]
  8. Mike Braun (Indiana)
  9. Chuck Grassley (Iowa)
  10. Roger Marshall (Kansas)
  11. Jerry Moran (Kansas)
  12. Mitch McConnell (Kentucky)
  13. Bill Cassidy (Louisiana)
  14. John Kennedy (Louisiana)
  15. Josh Hawley (Missouri)
  16. Deb Fischer (Nebraska)
  17. Richard Burr (North Carolina)
  18. Thom Tillis (North Carolina)
  19. John Hoeven (North Dakota)
  20. Rob Portman (Ohio)
  21. Jim Inhofe (Oklahoma)
  22. James Lankford (Oklahoma)
  23. Mike Rounds (South Dakota)
  24. John Thune (South Dakota)
  25. Bill Hagerty (Tennessee)
  26. Marsha Blackburn (Tennessee)
  27. Mike Lee (Utah)
  28. Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia)
  29. Ron Johnson (Wisconsin)
  30. John Barrasso (Wyoming)

I do not expect to be correct on all of my "Yes" vote but I do expect to be correct on most of them.  Call it 12. 

Assuming my total is accurate, can McConnell round up sufficient votes from the remaining 26?

If my total guess is accurate, then my answer is yes. If less than 10 in my list of 14 actually vote to convict, it will be difficult to get to 17.

Will There Even Be a Trial?

In a scenario I have not heard discussed elsewhere, if McConnell has the Republican votes, he will tell Biden and the trial will take place with Trump convicted.

But if McConnell does not have the votes, Biden could ask for dismissal and Chuck Schumer, who will be the new Senate Majority Leader, could act to dismiss the charges.

In addition to waiting for the three new Democrat Senators (two from Georgia), this setup may be another reason McConnell wants to delay the vote. 

Friendly Political Cooperation

I am convinced Schumer, McConnell, and Biden are all cooperating to convict Trump, with McConnell doing everything he can to deliver 17 Republican votes. 

I do not have Pelosi in this loop. The House is now irrelevant except as prosecutor. The Senate is the jury.

If my theory is correct, then one of two things will happen. Trump will be convicted with a further vote to stop him from ever running again OR Biden will ask Schumer to walk this back, with censure, in the name of healing the nation.

A trial without conviction only helps Trump. Schumer, McConnell, and Biden will seek to prevent that outcome, one way or another. 

Finally, let's assume I am wrong and there is a vote that comes up short. That would be a victory of sorts for Trump, but it would not resurrect him. Senator Grassley has the right idea: There's 'very little opportunity' for Trump to lead the Republican Party, regardless of impeachment

Addendum - Senate Trial is NOT Mandated

This is consistent with McConnell's reluctance to have a quick trial before the 20th.

Mish

Comments (76)
No. 1-28
Sechel
Sechel

A prominent retired federal appeals court judge, J. Michael Luttig, argued this week that the Senate can’t try Trump after he leaves office. Luttig wrote in the Washington Post that the purpose behind the impeachment clause was to prevent an official from using a government position to inflict further harm on the nation. Expect Senators who don't want to be seen as conding Trump's actions from using this argument as a rationale for not supporting impeachment. Tom Cotton has aleady gotten behind this idea and Tom Cotton voted to certify Joe Biden.

Others will not agree with this interpretation. Gregg Nunziata, a former Republican lawyer for the Senate Judiciary Committee, tweeted Wednesday that “some conservatives are being misled by Judge Luttig.“ “The impeachment power includes the power to disqualify for life,” Nunziata added. “If officeholders could simply resign to evade this important punishment, it would render that a nullity.”

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

"A trial without conviction only helps Trump.”

This is the reason I think Trump’s crimes should be handled by the new AG, and not have his guilt or innocence determined by political expediency or party loyalty.

It looks to me like McConnell is just trying to wash his hands of the responsibility and pass the whole sorry mess off on Shumer......whom he will be happy to blame if it doesn’t work out well. I see several ways this can go wrong and only one way it can go right......I don’t like the odds.

PecuniaNonOlet
PecuniaNonOlet

Meanwhile, yesterday I posted that 4000 people died of covid, today another 4000 will die and we still dont have any leadership to take this problem on. Trump has another six days so I assume another 24,000 will die while trump issues pardons to clowns.

I hope trump never gets to hold office again, he can serve as carnival barker for gop all he wants but no government office!

KidHorn
KidHorn

There won't be a senate vote. No republican wants to go on record. As much as the senators hate Trump, voting to impeach him will cost them the votes of many Trump supporters.

One-armed Economist
One-armed Economist

Good points. People don't mention it but I suspect McConnel's wife Chao is a strong push on her husband to convict as her career has been as a moderate, and she was the 1st Cabinet Officer to resign. Never underestimate the influence from home.

Sechel
Sechel

A group of 11 sitting and incoming Republican senators, led by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, announced in a joint statement Saturday that they will join Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri and object to the certification of President Donald Trump's loss to President-elect Joe Biden when a joint session of Congress meets Wednesday. They took part in a coup. It's unlikely that these 11 will vote to remove Trump in a Senate impeachment trial

Doug78
Doug78

Mish, whenever you get back to financial and economic reporting and discussions I suggest that we look at this problem.

amigator
amigator

This is all political theater and the media eats it like it is their favorite chocolate cake. Anything not to discuss the real issues and solutions to problems that have been manifesting for years.

They will never get the votes to convict from the senate especially once evidence is submitted. We are already seeing these protestors had plans way before Trump's speech that was supposedly the tool of incitement. C'mon man!

I will say again there were significant problems well before Trump took office. Trumps election was a reflection of these existing problems not the cause of the problems!

njbr
njbr

In the cold, cruel world of politics...

The conviction of Trump would remove the albatross from the neck of the Republican party and allow them to resume relative normality. A quick session tomorrow, a quick conviction this weekend and a bar to holding office ever again, via the use of a secret ballot.

Other than that, the gravitational pull of the issue will weigh on the Republicans for years.

jrf
jrf

There will not be a senate vote......Repubs WILL NOT convict him. They should censor so he cannot ever run for public office again.

davebarnes2
davebarnes2

Let's look at Little Marco.
If Fat Donnie is not convicted, then he retains power in the G卐P and Ivanka will primary Marco.
If Donnie Fatso is convicted, then Marco's odds of being primaried by Ivanka go way down.
So, it is in Marco's self interest to vote for conviction.

Sechel
Sechel

He shoul never have been President. This article makes the case on foreign policy alone.

Carl_R
Carl_R

Sadly, when it comes time for a vote, most politicians will look to polls for what to do, rather than to their conscience. What do the polls say? 56% of people favor removing Trump from office, but only 13% of Republicans do:

Note however, that that was as of a few days ago. Mood can shift over time. Will it shift in his favor, or the other way? That's hard to say, but it very well may affect the outcome of the vote.

I will add that historically it is possible for Politicians to do the right thing, and explain to their constituents that in a representative democracy, they were elected to use their judgement as to what is right, and they will always do that, and to gain back some support from those that disagreed. On the other hand, it would be very difficult to do the reverse, to go to constituents and explain that they were elected to be a party drone, and to do what the party wants, whether it is right or wrong, and to expect to win over voters from the center or other party.

Thus, one thing seems clear: Those that fear the wrath of Trump supporters will do whatever they can to avoid a vote altogether. Those who have already shown an independent streak, and/or who were just re-elected, and who have 6 years for constituents to move to other things, will be more apt to vote for conviction. Thus, Sasse, who has shown and independent streak, will do what he thinks is right. McConnell, who was just re-elected, and who is old enough that this is probably his final term, will also do what he thinks is right.

TexasTim65
TexasTim65

I'm better off and it's not even close when talking about personal wealth (stock market has soared).

Everywhere else, nothing significant has changed for me (still have same career, health of myself and family is good). For 90% (more) of American's those are the only things that really matter to them (personal finances, health/family heath, career etc).

Jackula
Jackula

In a few weeks the House and Senate by simple majorities could use Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution to bar Trump from office ever again for having engaged in an insurrection or rebellion against the US. Would take 2/3's majorities to reverse.

Mish
Mish

Editor

There will be a vote if Schumer wants one. This will NOT be McConnell's call after the 20th!

Mish
Mish

Editor

I am positive McConnell wants to deliver the Republican votes and so do all the Senators Trump attacked.

But this will be Schumer's (Biden's) call not McConnell's.

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

I don’t think there is any kind of consensus on whether a man who WAS President, but is no longer in office, can even be tried in the Senate. If I were Trump’s counsel I’d go straight for that grey area and try to claim the statute of limitations ran out the second Biden was sworn in.

It makes sense, because a conviction on an impeachment only has one remedy...and that is removal from office.....while true that sets the stage for the vote on whether he can run again.....we might never even see it get that far. I’d claim the trial was moot because the defendant had left office.

Way too many ways this could go right off the rails.

njbr
njbr

UK bans travel from most South American countries due to new NEW covid variant that may elude vaccines.

US CDC--crickets...

JoeJohnson
JoeJohnson

We have officially turned into a banana republic. Mark my words, if Biden is still in office in 2023 he will be impeached (not that it means anything in practical terms).

ToInfinityandBeyond
ToInfinityandBeyond

Maybe it is not in the Democrats best interests to impeach Trump after the fact unless they feel he can rehabilitate his political career. At the moment he is severely damaged goods as far as the rank and file are concerned and he just might polarize the Republican Party for years to come. Let the Republicans clean up this mess. They created it.

Mish
Mish

Editor

Deleted Scot Adam's BS take after a few minutes of watching.

ohno
ohno

I wasn't a Trump fan but I refused to vote for either of them this past election. I wish us luck with the new boss.

Realist
Realist

Impeachment is another word for “charge”. It is a charge of misconduct against the holder of a public office. It does not matter if the person is still in office, in order to charge or convict them. It has happened many times before in the US to other public officials, just not the President. The legal precedent has already been set.

Whether Republicans will allow him to be convicted will depend on many things. If enough incriminating evidence is demonstrated over the next few months, including other Republican co-conspirators, there may be enough Republicans willing to either convict Trump, or simply not show up for the vote, and let the Democrats achieve 2/3 majority in their absence. Much will depend on the polls that these Republicans are watching. Perhaps, some will even find some integrity and stand up for their country, rather than their own self-interest.

Realist
Realist

Nice to see that you finally realize how full of bs this guy is.


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