President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial is underway, but just how many votes are needed in the Senate to actually convict and remove him? As it turns out, more votes than they likely have. Read on for more details.
A 2/3 Majority Is Needed in the Senate To Remove Trump
It was easy to get the votes needed to impeach Trump in the House, but that won’t be so easy in the Senate. The Republicans have a majority there and very few are likely to cross party lines. (And in case you’re wondering about impeaching Senators, that’s not easy either. Whether through expulsion or impeachment, it also requires a 2/3 vote of the Senate.)
A total of 67 Senators would need to vote to convict and remove Trump during the impeachment trial, Reuters reported. This is because the law requires that a 2/3 majority of the Senate’s 100 members would need to vote for the President to be removed from office before Trump would actually be removed. There are 45 Democrat Senators and 53 Republican Senators, plus two Independents who typically vote Democrat.
Before the 67 votes needed to remove Trump could be reached, at least 20 Republicans would have to join with Democrats in voting to remove Trump (plus the two Independents), Reuters reported. This just isn’t likely to happen.
Sen. Chris Murphy has said that he only knows of a handful of Republicans who might vote to remove Trump, The Hill reported. He wouldn’t name them, but he said some in the Senate were considering it, but it was a small list that could be counted on one hand. That’s definitely not enough to meet the 20 Republican Senator count that would be needed.
He added that an anonymous removal vote wouldn’t be appropriate and, even if it happened, only a handful of Republicans would still consider voting to remove Trump. So don’t expect the rules to change in a Republican-led Senate that would allow for anonymous voting.
The Hill reported that according to Senate insiders and political experts, the Republicans who might consider removing him might include Sen. Susan Collins from Maine, Sen. Mitt Romney from Utah, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Others have expressed concern about Trump’s actions, but are likely not as close to voting for actual removal.
538 reported that there are 44 Democrats who are almost certain to vote for removal. Two Democrats (Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema) aren’t up for re-election and might possibly vote against removal. They’re both sometimes centrist and go against trends, 538 noted. 538 is betting both will vote against Trump’s removal, which would leave the Democrats needing even more Republicans to vote for his removal. Doug Jones, 538 posited, might be another unknown. 538 is not predicting that any Republicans will vote to remove Trump. Two possible exceptions listed by 538 were Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski, which were also listed by The Hill. But with only 8 percent of Republican voters supporting impeachment, Republicans aren’t likely to cross sides.
Like former President Bill Clinton, Trump has been impeached but he will likely not be removed.