Why Republicans will not back Trump impeachment
The Senate is preparing to vote on impeachment charges against President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, but Republicans are withholding support from the Democratic majority.
The GOP is planning to move ahead with impeachment against Trump and Pence in a vote on the first day of its 115-day session next week.
But they are planning to hold off until after the GOP’s new president takes office, meaning they are likely to vote against impeachment and will not have a vote next week on whether to hold it up.
GOP senators, who will be voting on the legislation next week, are not expected to oppose the measure.
“I don’t know if there will be any real change of heart,” Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., a member of the Senate’s top-ranking Judiciary Committee, told The Hill on Friday.
“There will be a lot of people who say, ‘Why would you want to impeach the president?’
I don’t think there will really be any difference between the president and Pence.
It’s not going to be much different.”
Cotton is the only Republican senator to vote in favor of the impeachment measure.
The Democrats are expected to move forward with the impeachment proceedings this week and will likely file a motion to quash the charges against Trump, Pence and Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
The House of Representatives voted Thursday to remove Pence from office.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said on Friday that Democrats will vote on a motion by Vice President Pence to invoke the 14th Amendment, which would remove Pence, Trump and Trump from office for the remainder of their terms.
The 14th amendment requires a majority of the votes of three-fifths of the House to convict a president, and it requires only one-half of the members in the chamber to vote for the conviction.
The amendment has been used only once before, in 1876, when former President Andrew Johnson was impeached and removed from office over a bribery scandal.
In 2018, Republicans won the House for the first time since Trump was elected.
But the Republicans are hoping to take back the chamber after Trump is impeached, and they will not want to risk a Trump-Pence tie-breaking vote that could cost them control of the chamber for a second time.
“If it was a vote that they were hoping to get, I think that would be a disaster,” Cotton said.
“It would be pretty difficult to get a two-thirds vote in the House.”
The Senate also approved the impeachment bill by a vote of 60 to 42, after Democrats rejected a motion from Sens.
Bob Casey, D.
Pa., and Bill Nelson, D.-Fla., to allow Republicans to amend the bill to remove Trump.
Casey and Nelson have expressed skepticism about the measure, arguing that the Democrats are using the impeachment process to further the impeachment of Trump and are attempting to bring impeachment charges of the president in a partisan manner.
Democrats, on the other hand, say that Republicans are using it to bring charges against the president.
“The intent is to use the impeachment procedure to investigate the president, not to bring a case against him,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D_N.
Y., said in a statement on Friday after the vote.
“This is a partisan effort to bring an end to the Trump presidency and to undermine the rule of law.”