“It pretty much calculates what it will feel like on our side,” Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.) Said. – I don’t think we’ll lose any more.
All senators who think openly during the trial face a different political future. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Cassidy had just been re-elected, empowering them to make decisions without re-election considerations; Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) will face voters next year. Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) was the only GOP senator to vote Trump’s conviction a year ago, while Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) Has been more critical than ever of a president he has never supported. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) Will retire next year.
The fact that only a few Senate Republicans are seriously considering condemning the former president shows that Trump continues to have influence over the party. While the most ardent GOP supporters condemned his tongue on Jan. 6, a majority of Senate Republicans join the argument that the conviction of a former president is unconstitutional because even conservative jurists argue on both sides of the issue.
Contrary to previous indictment, the Senate Republican leadership does not whip the vote. The six Republicans, who see the trial as constitutional, hold their card tightly and say both sides will listen to the decision.
“I will accompany the presentations and the evidence presented, and I will make a decision at this point,” Romney said, adding that “one of the elements that is often overlooked is the call to the Georgian secretary of state, which I find particularly worrying.”
Similarly, Toomey said in an interview on Tuesday that he has not yet made a final decision on whether to end up voting in favor of the conviction. But he said he hopes to approach the trial in the same way if he doesn’t retire.
“It’s a very serious matter,” Toomey said. “I think it’s constitutionally allowed to include that. I think we have a responsibility for that. That is why I have a responsibility to do my sworn work.
Outside Trump’s office, the stake in the conviction is lower than in his first trial. And the situations are vastly different, given that much of Trump’s pre-January 6 uprising was public, and the senators themselves were in the Capitol when the attack took place.
While a majority of Senate Republicans plan to vote in favor of Trump’s dismissal, few defend him personally. Instead, their argument against the lawsuit focuses entirely on the constitutionality of the process and not on the behavior of the former president.
Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), a close adviser to Senate Mitch McConnell, a senior minority leader, said he could “still be upset and feel that what happened on January 6 was not right”. But he added that the process of house leaders “does not look like what we should set as a precedent”.
Although Tuesday’s vote on the constitutionality of the prosecution process is the clearest indication that House leaders are likely to miss the 17 votes needed to convict Trump, senators have warned that this does not necessarily reflect the final vote count.
– I’m not sure it’s all [senators] which is a constitutional context, necessarily votes in favor. Said Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), GOP No. 4 leader. “There’s a chance that a couple of people who made the same vote as me will decide at the end of the day that they can vote on the verdict.”
Cassidy’s surprising vote on Tuesday highlights that some Republican senators really haven’t made a decision and may convince them of the leaders ’arguments for indicting the House. The Louisiana Republican on Tuesday reiterated that he was “approaching this as an impartial juror” and criticized the performance of Trump’s legal team as “terrible”.
“The question is, is it constitutional to hold the outgoing president accountable?” he said. “And the leaders of the house have created a compelling, convincing case. And the president’s team doesn’t.
Similar to the January 6 vote on justifying the 2020 election, McConnell tells his conference that the final vote of condemnation will be a vote of conscience. But it can have political consequences. Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), Who voted to indict Trump, has been called upon by members of her own party to resign as House GOP conference chair. And Sasse, who has vehemently condemned Trump’s rhetoric, is facing a censorship resolution from the Nebraska GOP.
The condemnation of potential GOP convictions did not seem lost to Trump’s attorney, Bruce Castor Jr., who specifically mentioned Toomey and Sasse in his opening remarks. Castor, who is from Pennsylvania, nodded to Toomey and called him “Pat,” while calling the senators “patriots for the first time”.
Trump’s attorney briefly mentioned Sasse’s opponent, who is back home, but seemed confused as to what triggered the Nebraska GOP motion of censure.
“I saw that because of the vote a few weeks ago, he faced back home that a political party was complaining about a decision the U.S. had made as a senator,” Castor said. “I don’t want to steal the thunder from other lawyers, but Nebraska, you’ll hear it’s quite a judicial think tank, and maybe Senator Sasse got to something.”
The Nebraska GOP wants to disbelieve Sasse in his criticism of Trump after the January 6 uprising and his rejection of the challenge of the 2020 election results.
Sasse refused to make a statement, citing his responsibility as a juror. But Collins told reporters that mentioning Toomey and Sasse was “inappropriate.”
Murkowski, most recently a key vote in Trump’s first indictment, said Tuesday that a group of senators who see the trial as constitutional will make their own individual decisions. But he was shocked that barely a year later, the Senate was going through another impeachment.
“I hope this doesn’t return to normal,” he said. “I mean, we knew where we were going with the prosecution last year.” I do not think there was anyone who thought we should have a second round of accountability, which was carried out in part because of the President’s words and deeds.