At least six, and possibly as many as nine, Republican senators are frustrated enough with President Donald Trump’s actions, as detailed in the Senate impeachment trial so far, that they want to do something about it, Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein suggested on Wednesday.
Speaking as part of a panel on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 discussing the Trump impeachment trial on Wednesday evening, Bernstein explained that these sentators in all likelihood probably wouldn’t vote to remove the president or indict him. But they felt his actions were egregious enough to warrant some sort of action.
“There are six, seven, eight, nine wobbly Republicans” who are “not necessarily going to vote to acquit but want to make some kind of statement that they don’t like what the president has done,” Bernstein explained, per reporting from Newsweek.
“They think it is deplorable, disgusting — really have been affected by what they’re hearing. The question is though whether or not they’ll go for witnesses,” Bernstein explained.
So far, the Senate has voted against additional witnesses, although there are future votes planned to bring the issue back up. Some senators have expressed the desire to hear more from former Trump administration officials, including from former National Security Advisor John Bolton, who has expressed an eagerness to speak during the impeachment trial.
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has so far tried to prevent that from happening, which some say is partly due to a promise he made to Trump to deliver an acquittal ahead of the State of the Union address the president is set to give on February 4.
McConnell’s strategy is to “wear out” members of his own party who are considering voting for more witnesses, Bernstein said, adding that GOP senators are being affected by the “powerful narrative” that House managers are presenting to them.
The famed reported inserted his own take on the president’s actions, as have been described in the trial so far.
“This president of the United States is the only president in our history who has done what the founders wrote this clause for. He has sought the interference of a foreign power in our elections,” Bernstein said.
Polls have consistently found that a majority of Americans want more witnesses and evidence to be entered into the Senate record during the trial, with nearly 7-in-10 saying as much. Some polls have also demonstrated that a slim majority want Trump removed from office by a vote to indict him in the impeachment trial, prior reporting from HillReporter.com detailed.