Up to 50 Republicans in the Senate have agreed to sign on to a resolution denouncing the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump while only three Republican senators refused.
NBC News reported on Saturday, Nov. 9, that three Senate Republicans declined to sign on as co-sponsors to condemn the probe including Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. But unlike the criticism Romney and Collins have faced for breaking with the party’s defense of the president, Murkowski could see her views embraced by voters in her state. Experts on Alaska politics have observed that Alaska tends to approve of independent thought in its politicians.
“As far as supporting or opposing the president, we support individualism and we support individual freedom of expression. And that goes for our politicians, too, whatever party they are,” said Tuckerman Babcock to NBC. Babcock retired as the chairman of the Alaska GOP last year. “Republicans here may disagree with her on certain things, but I can say safely that they respect her independence of judgment.” And Murkowski votes with the president’s position on bills about 75 percent of the time, according to a FiveThirtyEight as quoted by NBC.
The resolution was introduced last month by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), condemning the Democratic-run House for pursuing an illegitimate impeachment inquiry and demanding that Republicans be given more chances to question witnesses.
Graham said the House process so far has been “a star-chamber-type inquiry” and accused Democrats of using it to damage the president.
“If you can drive down a president’s poll numbers by having proceedings where you selectively leak information, where the president who’s the subject of all this is pretty much shut out, God help future presidents,” Graham told reporters after announced the resolution on Oct. 24.
“What’s going on is a run around the impeachment process, creating a secret proceeding behind closed doors that fundamentally, in my view, denies due process,” he added.
With a majority of Senate Republicans supporting the resolution, the impeachment inquiry is unlikely to convince the Senate even after it pasts the House.
Republicans have control of the Senate with 53 votes. The House would need 67 votes to convict the president and remove him from the White House.