If the House passes articles of impeachment this week against President Trump for the second time in his single term, the Senate would try him and determine whether to remove and disqualify him from holding office again. Thecharges the president with incitement of insurrection, after he revved up supporters last week to “fight like hell” before they stormed the Capitol, resulting in the deaths of six people and the evacuation of Congress.
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, has signaled that he’d like an impeachment trial to begin immediately after the article of impeachment is received by the Senate.
Most Democratic senators are calling for Mr. Trump’s immediate removal, including the Senate’s two independent members, Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont. But the bar for the Senate to remove the president is higher than impeachment, which requires only a simple majority in the House.
Two-thirds of the Senate — 67 senators — are needed to convict. CBS News asked the 51 current GOP senators how they’ll vote. Twenty responded.
One Republican, Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, embraced the idea of a quick departure from office by Mr. Trump and believes he should resign. But while he thinks the president committed “impeachable offenses,” Toomey is not sure it’s “practical” to remove him from office with just a few days left, he told NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”
The other 19 respondents answered with statements, pointed to past press interviews or declined to comment.
Utah Senator Mitt Romney was the only Republican senator to vote to remove Trump on one of the two impeachment charges in February 2020. Following the attacks on January 6, he said on the Senate floor the objections and attacks were a result of “a selfish man’s injured pride and the outrage of supporters who he has deliberately misinformed for the past two months.”
In a statement Wednesday, he said that “when the President incites an attack against Congress, there must be a meaningful consequence.”
“We will be considering those options and the best course for our nation in the days ahead,” he added.
Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Ben Sasse of Nebraska are also not closing the door on impeachment, according to statements to CBS News. Sasse said on “CBS This Morning” last week he would “definitely consider whatever articles” the House moves. A spokesperson for Collins said she would not comment on impeachment “because of the Senate’s constitutional role in those proceedings, which includes sitting as a jury.”
Iowa Senator Joni Ernst said that Mr. Trump “did not display good leadership” and “bears some responsibility for what happened.”
Nine senators have told CBS News they don’t support impeachment: Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Cindy Hyde-Smith and Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Steve Daines of Montana, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Tim Scott of South Carolina and Ted Cruz of Texas.
Others said there’s no time to impeach Mr. Trump because the incoming Biden-Harris administration will be taking office in days, and they predicted an impeachment process would be divisive.
“Is there any likelihood that he could possibly be removed between now and January the 20th?” Missouri Senator Roy Blunt said on Face the Nation. “If there’s no additional ensuing event my — my belief is there is no possibility of that.”
Impeachment is “a partisan exercise that will further embitter and divide the country,” Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who voted to accept the Electoral College results on January 6, said on WDRB.
A handful of Republican senators voted to object to the Electoral College results in Arizona and Pennsylvania on the day of the Capitol assault: Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Hyde-Smith, Josh Hawley of Missouri, and Cruz. Wyoming Senator Cynthia Loomis and Florida Senator Rick Scott did not vote for the objection in Arizona, but did so for Pennsylvania. Louisiana Senator John Kennedy voted to object the results in Arizona, but did not do so for Pennsylvania.
Scott, who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, didn’t disclose his stance on impeachment when asked. Instead, he denounced the Capitol riots and urged Mr. Trump to reconsider his decision to skip the inauguration.
The other Florida senator, Marco Rubio, has rejected impeachment, telling “Fox News Sunday” it would mean that President-elect Biden’s first weeks would be about “removing a president that is already not in office.”
Here’s the list of GOP senators and what they’ve said about voting on impeachment:
- Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania)
- Ben Sasse (Nebraska)
- Mitt Romney (Utah)
- Marco Rubio (Florida)
- Rand Paul (Kentucky)
- Cindy Hyde-Smith (Mississippi)
- Roger Wicker (Mississippi)
- Roy Blunt (Missouri)
- Steve Daines (Montana)
- Kevin Cramer (North Dakota)
- Tim Scott (South Carolina)
- Ted Cruz (Texas)
Responded but declined to say what vote would be
- Mike Crapo (Idaho)
- Susan Collins (Maine)
- Joni Ernst (Iowa)
- Todd Young (Indiana)
- Rick Scott (Florida)
- Jim Risch (Idaho)
- John Cornyn (Texas)
- Cynthia Lummis (Wyoming)
Did not respond to CBS News’ request for comment
- Richard Shelby (Alabama)
- Tommy Tuberville (Alabama)
- Daniel Sullivan (Alaska)
- Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
- John Boozman (Arkansas)
- Tom Cotton (Arkansas)
- Kelly Loeffler (Georgia)
- Mike Braun (Indiana)
- Chuck Grassley (Iowa)
- Roger Marshall (Kansas)
- Jerry Moran (Kansas)
- Mitch McConnell (Kentucky)
- Bill Cassidy (Louisiana)
- John Kennedy (Louisiana)
- Josh Hawley (Missouri)
- Deb Fischer (Nebraska)
- Richard Burr (North Carolina)
- Thom Tillis (North Carolina)
- John Hoeven (North Dakota)
- Rob Portman (Ohio)
- Jim Inhofe (Oklahoma)
- James Lankford (Oklahoma)
- Lindsey Graham (South Carolina)
- Mike Rounds (South Dakota)
- John Thune (South Dakota)
- Bill Hagerty (Tennessee)
- Marsha Blackburn (Tennessee)
- Mike Lee (Utah)
- Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia)
- Ron Johnson (Wisconsin)
- John Barrasso (Wyoming)
Alan He, Bo Erickson, Cara Korte, John Nolen, Timothy Perry and Sarah Ewall-Wice contributed reporting to this story