The trial of President Donald Trump will begin this week in the US Senate. The House voted on two Articles of Impeachment – Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress – and have finally transmitted them to the Senate, where Senators will hear the evidence, potentially hear from witnesses and then vote on whether to remove President Trump from office.
It takes two-thirds of the Senate to remove the President, which means 67 Senators have to agree that either or both of the Articles are sufficient to remove him. Currently, the US Senate is comprised of 53 Republicans and 45 Democrats, along with two independents (Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sen. Angus King of Maine.) Based on these numbers, removal of President Trump seems unlikely.
In the Midwest, including swing states, most senators are already on the record. And it doesn’t look like they are crossing any party lines.
Pennsylvania: Sen. Bob Casey (D) Sen. Pat Toomey (R)
Sen. Casey has called for President Trump’s impeachment in the House. From his own Senate website:
My concerns about the President’s conduct have grown over months, particularly as I thoroughly reviewed Special Counsel Mueller’s report. President Trump’s most recent actions with regard to Ukraine have created new urgency to take action. Given this clear abuse of power, I believe I have an obligation to outline the conduct, both during the Russian investigation and the Ukraine matter, that is within the well-established definition of the “high crimes and misdemeanors” that the Senate would consider in an impeachment trial.
His commentary ended with, “Now is the time for Congress to act.”
In a recent interview, Sen. Toomey is asking out loud, “Where’s the crime?” He followed up with:
(When the Article of Impeachment come to the Senate,) …we will deal with it. I don’t want to go too far on a limb but you probably won’t be surprised by the disposition of this issue.
He then continued: “we’re going to reelect President Trump, we’re going to hold the United States Senate. and honestly I think we have a shot at taking back the House.”
How They’ll Vote On Removal: Casey – Yea. Toomey – Nay.
Wisconsin: Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) Sen. Ron Johnson (R)
Sen. Baldwin wants “witnesses and documents,” a phrase used repeatedly by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi in wanting to dictate the terms of the trial in the Senate. This is a clear indicator of where her vote is going upon the trial’s completion. She has also stated:
…my judgment on the charges that President Trump abused his power and obstructed Congress will be guided by my duty to put our Constitution first and our country before party, because no one in America, including our president, is above the rule of law.
During an interview with George Stephanopolous, Sen. Johnson called the case against President Trump, “thin:”
The case is pretty thin that the House is sending over to us….Pretty thin gruel from my standpoint.
Some have argued that Sen. Johnson needs to recuse himself in the trial because of interactions that took place with him, President Trump and others regarding Ukraine. Johnson is not buying in, and has even said he’s ok with a trial with no witnesses at all.
How They’ll Vote On Removal: Baldwin – Yea. Johnson – Nay.
Michigan: Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) Sen. Gary Peters (D)
Sen. Stabenow has supported impeachment for months. She has stated that she will be impartial during the trial while deriding Preisdent Trump from blocking witnesses via executive privilege. Stabenow sees the Senate trial as, “…his opportunity to show he is not trying to obstruct Congress.”
On a local news broadcast in Detroit, Sen. Peters has stated that he has not made up his mind on impeachment. On his Senate website, Peters stated, “Abuse of office and obstruction of Congress are very serious charges that deserve solemn consideration.” The Washington Post listed Sen. Peters as one of a handful of Democrats who could vote against removal.
How They’ll Vote On Removal: Stabenow – Yea. Peters – Lean Yea.
Nebraska: Sen. Deb Fischer (R) Sen. Ben Sasse (R)
Sen. Fischer derided the impeachment process in the House:
“House Democrats did not provide President Trump the basic fairness afforded to other presidents in past impeachment inquiries,” she said in a statement. “As disappointed as I am in the way these proceedings were conducted in the House, I must now fulfill my constitutional duty as a juror in a Senate trial and I will assess all information as it becomes available to me.”
She has also stated that there was no need for witnesses in the trial, stating:
We’re not the investigative body, and in fact, Senators have to sit at our desks, six days a week, and not speak because we’re the jury…if the Minority Leader (Senator Chuck Schumer (D) of New York) thinks there needs to be more witnesses, I guess he’s saying the House did not do their job.
Sen. Sasse has been critical of President Trump in the past on a myriad of subjects. On impeachment, his ire seems more directed at Congress and the state of partisan politics in America. Back in September, 2019, Sasse stated that Democrats shouldn’t talking impeachment without facts, and, “Republicans ought not to be rushing to circle the wagons to say there’s no there there when there’s obviously lots that’s very troubling there.”
Since then, he has been quiet on the issue. As of this post, his last ten press releases discussed China and Chinese censorship, Russia, Iran, the killing of Iranian terrorist Qassem Soleimani, the USMCA trade deal, Nebraska walk for life and the missing surveillance footage of pedophile Jeffrey Epstein: Impeachment is not mentioned. FiveThirtyEight posits that Sen. Sasse’s decision will be based on his chances for re-election to the Senate, saying that a vote for removal will jeopardize a second term.
How They’ll Vote On Removal: Fischer – Nay. Sasse – Lean Nay.
Ohio: Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) Sen. Rob Portman (R)
Sen. Brown has publicly stated that the actions of President Trump are worse than those of former President Richard Nixon:
“We take an oath saying, at the beginning of the trial, that we’ll look at the evidence,” Brown said. “I have very strong feelings about the president. I supported impeachment. He did things that Richard Nixon never did. He solicited a bribe from a foreign leader.”
He followed by saying he doesn’t know if Trump’s actions rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors, “…until I see the evidence.” But Brown has also called the trial a “sham” without witnesses:
I hear the president over and over saying that the House was unfair and that it is all hearsay, well, then, bring in the people who were in the room. If the president’s innocent, then they will exonerate him and we will all vote not the convict. Bring the people, the eyewitnesses in the room when the infraction —I mean It is clear that the president was undermining democracy what he did. There is little doubt in people’s minds. But before I know how to vote, I want to hear the president’s side…
Sen. Portman has been forthright: President Trump was wrong to talk to Ukraine about former Vice-President Joe Biden, but it is not an impeachable offense:
From what I’ve seen so far, I don’t see the evidence that leads to an impeachable offense…
I don’t think everything was appropriate, particularly asking for a foreign government to look into a political opponent, but I don’t believe it rises to the level of saying, ‘We’re going to reverse the results of an election’ which is what impeachment is.
How They’ll Vote On Removal: Brown – Yea. Portman – Nay.
Other Midwest States:
Indiana: Sen. Todd Young (R) Sen. Mike Braun (R) – both Nay.
Iowa: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) Sen. Joni Ernst (R) – both Nay.
Minnesota: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) Sen. Tina Smith – both Yea, unless, in Klobuchar’s run for President, she thinks it would be better for her politically if she did not vote. This is highly unlikely.
Missouri: Sen. Roy Blunt (R) Sen. Josh Hawley (R) – both Nay. Hawley had introduced legislation to dismiss the impeachment charges if Speaker Pelosi’s delay had continued.
Oklahoma: Sen. James Inhofe (R) Sen. James Lankford (R) – both Nay.