The Senate appeared set Tuesday to acquit President Trump in a party line verdict, with just a handful of members still mulling the critical impeachment question.
As the chamber gathered for one final round of floor speeches on the eve of Trump’s virtually certain Wednesday acquittal, only five senators remained on the fence on how to vote on the two articles of impeachment.
On the Republican side, Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine were still in the undecided camp and dodged questions from reporters on the matter. However, Collins’ office said she will make an impeachment-related announcement Tuesday afternoon.
The two moderate Republicans were the only members of their party to vote with Democrats in last week’s failed push to call witnesses in Trump’s trial.
A vote to convict and remove Trump from either Collins or Romney would be highly significant and deliver a bipartisan rebuke of the president’s bid to pressure Ukraine into announcing investigations of his Democratic rivals.
On the Democratic side, Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Doug Jones of Alabama — who are facing potentially difficult reelection campaigns — remained undecided.
Sinema and Jones have stayed largely quiet throughout Trump’s trial, giving few hints of how they plan to vote on the articles charging the president with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Manchin, by contrast, has been vocal in pushing for Trump to be censured over his Ukraine scandal.
However, the West Virginia Democrat, who has a cordial relationship with the president, has not said whether that means he plans to vote for or against the impeachment articles.
Trump and his Republican allies would all but certainly pounce on any Democratic impeachment defections as proof that the process was politically flawed from the outset.
As the small group of undecided senators continued to deliberate, the chamber’s top Republican railed against what he called the “constitutionally incoherent” case for removing Trump from office.
“This does not even approach a case for the first presidential removal in American history,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said from the floor.