Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is confident that some Democratic senators could join Republicans to vote to acquit President Donald Trump in the Senate impeachment trial.
In an interview with Fox News on Thursday night, Dec. 12, McConnell said he believed no Republicans would vote to impeach and remove President Trump from office.
Asked if there could be any Republican defections in the Senate, McConnell said, “I doubt it. There’s zero chance the president… would be removed from office, and I’m hoping we’ll have no defections at all.”
McConnell also predicted that the Republican push to acquit President Trump would receive support from some Democrats.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if we got one or two Democrats. It looks to me over in the House, the Republicans seem to be solid and the Democrats seem to be divided,” he said.
The Senate now has 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats and two independents. A conviction and removal of President Trump from office would require a two-thirds majority, or at least 67 votes, which seems unlikely.
According to The Hill, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) – who won reelection last year in a red state, and Doug Jones (D-Ala.) – who is running for reelection next year in a Trump-won state, are two Democrats who are viewed as potential Democratic swing votes.
During the interview with Fox, McConnell also said he would be in “total coordination with the White House counsel’s office” on impeachment trial strategy.
“Everything I do during this I’m coordinating with the White House counsel. There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this,” McConnell said.
An impeachment trial in the Senate is expected to start in early January, 2020.