Even though many Republican senators voted to declare the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump unconstitutional, they could possibly still vote to convict him — though the chances appear slim.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reportedly believes that his Republican colleagues could still vote to impeach Trump on the charge of “incitement of insurrection,” Bloomberg reports, citing three people familiar with McConnell’s thoughts.
The minority leader has also reportedly indicated that the final vote is a conscience vote for fellow Republicans.
McConnell has not made known publicly whether he will vote to convict or acquit Trump, though he has shared that he intends to “listen to the evidence.” Though he has not revealed how he will vote, he did, however, vote with all but five Republican senators in declaring the trial unconstitutional.
According to two sources Bloomberg cites, McConnell has yet to still make a decision.
It has been reported that it is “highly unlikely” the Senate will convict Trump on the impeachment article, as at least 17 Republicans must join Democrats in doing so.
The impeachment trial kicked off on Tuesday, which resulted in a 56 to 44 vote in declaring the trial constitutional. Six Republicans joined Democrats in voting in favor.
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said on Tuesday, “If anyone disagrees with my vote and would like an explanation, I ask them to listen to the arguments presented by the House Managers and former President Trump’s lawyers. The House managers had much stronger constitutional arguments. The president’s team did not.”
Other Republican lawmakers also were not totally pleased with Trump’s defense team’s performance on Tuesday. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said she was “perplexed by the first attorney, who did not seem to make any arguments at all, which was an unusual approach to take.”
“I thought the President’s lawyer the first lawyer just rambled on and on and on and didn’t really address the constitutional argument,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), adding, “Finally, the second lawyer got around to it And I thought, did an effective job but I’ve seen a lot of lawyers and a lot of arguments and that was it was not one of the finest I’ve seen.”
The impeachment trial will resume on Wednesday with arguments from the House impeachment managers and the Trump defense team.