Between five or six Republican senators would vote in favor of a conviction of former United States President Donald Trump during the political trial to which he will be submitted in the upper house of the United States Congress, less than half of the votes that the Democratic Party needs from his political rivals to guarantee possible disapproval.
According to sources from the Republican Party to ‘The Hill’, Trump’s decision to deny amnesty to his sympathizers arrested for storming the Capitol on January 6 has managed to prevent the disbandment of Republican senators. The Democrats needed 17 of their votes to guarantee a two-thirds majority in the Upper House and condemn Trump for inciting the insurrection as a result of his fiery public speech hours before the assault, as he was accused in the statement of charges of the ‘impeachment’.
“I think that if he forgave the people who were part of the assault, the number of senators (Republicans) who would vote for him would be greater, because it would have been a way of saying ‘These are my boys,” according to an anonymous Republican senator. Other senators, for their part, have declared themselves very concerned about the threats made by staunch supporters of the former president, such as the harassment that prominent Senator Lindsey Graham was subjected to at an airport two weeks ago.
A third line of action has its sights set on the future: a possible conviction of Trump could significantly undermine the prospects for the reconstruction of the Republican Party given that the president’s base of followers, essential for the legislative elections of 2022, would definitely distance themselves of the official doctrine of the party.
However, the same sources point out that the situation is delicate because a complete rejection of the Democratic initiative could understand that the Republicans would be closing ranks again around a figure that has cost them the White House and the entire Congress in just four years . Conversations about his future have come to light again “and at some point we are going to have to discuss the fact that the Republican Party is much bigger than a single person,” these sources point out.
For now, the leader of the Republican minority in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, has proposed to postpone the trial until mid-February with the confidence that by then the issue has cooled down. “Given that the ‘impeachment’ is a figure used to remove someone from a position they hold, this period could increase doubts about the constitutional validity of this trial. I suspect that many of our members will take refuge in this issue,” they add .
It also remains to be determined whether Chief Justice John Roberts would preside over the trial. Although it is the task that corresponds to him under normal circumstances, there has never been the circumstance of an impeachment against a former president, so it is possible that Roberts could recuse himself given the cloudiness of the issue.
The next two options are the vice president, Kamala Harris, and the president pro tempore, Pat Leahy. Both Democrats, and both supporters of the Trump condemnation, which would distort the entire process as a partisan exercise. “And that’s when he begins to lose legitimacy,” the sources venture.
Finally, it remains to be seen how the Republican Party behaves on a second option: the possibility of disqualifying Trump from holding public office. The precedents are even more confusing in this regard. While only a simple majority vote is necessary – that is, it would only be necessary for a Republican senator to vote in favor, or in extreme cases Vice President Harris, as president of the Senate – such a vote would only apply to previously convicted elected officials .