Senators in a bind over impeachment proceedings.
The republican senate members with 22 seats for reelection in 2020 worry about how to defend President Donald Trump from impeachment initiated by the House. As GOP members, their political fortunes, as well as policies, are linked to Trump. However, these representatives must also keep control of the senate while preserving their brands. Senators must proceed with caution as they defend conduct that is seen as improper. On Tuesday, the Senate GOP took a cautious approach when a White House witness gave a new testimony against Trump.
Mitch McConnell, Senate majority leader claimed the victory in the decision to hold a house vote. This decision was called by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the vote would be held on Thursday on the impeachment procedures. Republican leaders in the House, as well as Trump, telegraphed a new strategy that is intended to defend the president and move away from attacking democrats on the process.
President Trump said he preferred to go into details and not the process a case has to take on Monday. McConnell didn’t take this comment lightly. He said that the resolution sponsored by 50 republicans including himself condemning the impeachment process didn’t follow the merits of Trump’s charges. McConnell refused to talk about the strategy for tackling the democrats on procedural grounds.
Three Senate Republicans didn’t support the resolution which condemned the house inquiry. They include Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins and Mitt Romney. Another senior republican senator said last week that the resolution would fail to get a vote on the floor. This is because it may put the GOP senators in a precarious position.
Independent voter polls are tilting towards impeachment and this trend is troubling to McConnell as he intends to ensure that GOP remains in the majority in 2020. A poll conducted last week by Reuters/Ipsos saw an increase in support for the impeachment by 45%. Only 32% opposed the proceedings.