At least two Senate Democrats are already signaling they could vote for President Donald Trump’s acquittal just hours After Team Trump defense Rebuttal.
After Saturday’s trial session — which ended early to allow Democratic senators to hit the campaign trail — Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said Trump’s legal team did such a “good job” that their arguments are “making me think about things.”
“One thing that stuck in my mind is they said there isn’t a witness they have had so far that had direct contact with the president. I’d love to hear from Mulvaney and Bolton,” Manchin told a CNN reporter. “I’ll be very impartial til the end.”
Earlier in the day, Manchin, one of the most moderate Senate Democrats, reiterated his commitment to impartiality.
“I take my oath extremely seriously, my oath to the Constitution to protect and defend and my oath of impartiality. I want to see and hear from the defense counsel today and we’ll see where we go from there,” he said.
According to The Hill, moderate Democrat Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) has also signaled willingness to remain impartial and consider voting to acquit Trump.
“I’m hoping to hear the facts and the rebuttal from the president. So I think that’s only appropriate,” Jones said Saturday.
If any Democratic senators are likely to jump ranks and vote against Trump’s conviction, Manchin and Jones are the two most likely candidates. As The Hill noted, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) could also be a possible Democratic defector.
Still, Trump’s acquittal is almost certain. Democrats need a total of 67 votes to convict Trump and remove him from office, meaning they need 20 Republicans to jump ship — a practical impossibility.
Manchin: "I take my oath extremely seriously, my oath to the Constitution to protect and defend and my oath of impartiality. I want to see and hear from the defense counsel today and we'll see where we go from there."
— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) January 25, 2020