As many as ten Republican senators may vote to convict former President Trump at the close of his impeachment trial, Politico reported on Friday.
Republicans themselves are not sure of the exact number of those will vote to convict, although they privately estimate five to ten will back impeachment. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) has declined to whip votes either against or in favor of impeachment, and is reportedly undecided on whether he himself will vote to convict.
Senator Kevin Cramer (R., N.D.) said it was possible that some Republicans would decide to convict at the last minute.
“I certainly don’t know how many there could be. Certainly not enough for conviction,” Cramer told Politico. Democrats need the support of 17 Republicans in order to convict Trump. Conviction would be followed by a simple majority vote to bar Trump from future office.
Six Republican senators voted earlier this week to approve the constitutionality of the Senate trial, allowing impeachment to move forward. Several of those senators are considered likely to vote for impeachment, including Mitt Romney of Utah, who was the only Republican senator to support Trump’s first impeachment in 2020. However, Senator Bill Cassidy (R., La.) said he was undecided regarding impeachment.
“The House Managers did not connect the dots to show President Trump knew that the attack on the Capitol was going to be violent and result in the loss of life,” Cassidy said in a statement on Friday.
The House’s article of impeachment accuses Trump of inciting a mob of his supporters to amass at the Capitol, where they subsequently breached the building and forced lawmakers to evacuate. Several rioters died during the confrontations, and dozens of Capitol and Washington, D.C., police officers were injured.
Unless lawmakers call witnesses for the trial, a final vote on impeachment could be held on Saturday afternoon.