These Republican Senators Believe Trump Is Guilty


( – By now, it’s old news that Senators voted almost totally along party lines to acquit President Donald Trump of both articles of impeachment. On Article I: Abuse of power, 52 senators voted to acquit while 48 voted to convict. On Article II: Obstruction of Congress, 53 voted to acquit and 47 voted to convict.

Republican Mitt Romney from Utah was the only Republican senator to break party lines when he voted to convict Trump on Article I, but he voted to acquit on Article II. To remove Trump from office would have required a two-thirds vote of the Senate, or 67 votes.

But a day after the expected vote totals came in, the talk surrounded the future of Trump as well as that of both the Republican and Democratic parties. How these senators explain the rationale behind their decisions, and how they conduct themselves in votes and other dealings between now and the end of their current terms, may have huge ramifications for any potential re-election campaigns.

In the Republican Party especially, some senators seem to be wavering on how they really feel about Trump’s actions. Both Marco Rubio (from Florida) and Lamar Alexander (from Tennessee) said they believed Trump was guilty of the charges — but just didn’t deserve to be removed from office for it.

“Just because actions meet a standard of impeachment does not mean it is in the best interest of the country to remove a President from office,” Rubio said.

House managers “have proved [the charges] with what they call ‘a mountain of overwhelming evidence,'” Alexander said.

Now that the actual impeachment trial is over, coming out against the president’s actions and calling him guilty is an easier thing for these senators to do. After all, their words can’t influence the outcome of the trial now, since it’s set in stone that Trump will remain in office.

That may be considered by some to be a noble and worthy decision, then, by people like Rubio and Alexander to keep quiet during the trial, vote to acquit and then expand on their thinking later.

Others, however, might see it differently.

If Rubio and Alexander — and others — felt that Trump was guilty and that House impeachment managers had proven their case beyond a reasonable doubt, why didn’t they vote to convict? Are the thoughts of the American people supposed to go into how and why a senator votes? In a murder trial, is the judge and jury supposed to think about how the accused’s family will feel when they’re making their decision?

Ultimately, these arguments don’t mean anything in terms of Trump’s immediate future, as he’ll remain in office and seek re-election in November. How each senator voted during the trial and reacted afterward could have long-term consequences on their futures in Washington, though.