As President Donald Trump’s legal defense team closed their arguments on the Senate floor Tuesday, speculation was rampant on whether or not any Democrats would lean toward an acquittal vote for the president, in a clear break with the Democratic party.
According to Daily Wire, there are reportedly at least three of what have been called “Red State Democrats” — those who represent districts that were carried by Trump in the 2016 election — who are not ruling out the possibility of officially making the likely upcoming acquittal vote one of a bipartisan nature.
“Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Doug Jones of Alabama are undecided on whether to vote to remove the president from office and agonizing over where to land,” according to a Tuesday report from Politico.
The publication pointed out that the way those particular senators vote on the impeachment acquittal could have serious ramifications for their political careers and the Democratic party.
“It’s a decision that could have major ramifications for each senator’s legacy and political prospects — as well shape the broader political dynamic surrounding impeachment heading into the 2020 election,” the outlet reported.
Though it’s not entirely clear at this point whether or not the three Democrats will turn the vote to acquit the president into a bipartisan one, some believe that one or more of the red state senators will split the votes — in other words, vote for one article of impeachment and not the other.
Earlier on Tuesday, a surprise fourth Democratic senator, Sen. Diane Feinstein, clearly left the door open to voting for an acquittal.
“Nine months left to go, the people should judge. We are a republic, we are based on the will of the people — the people should judge,” the California senator said. However, the senator issued a tweet later in the day and walked back her comments, saying the LA Times took her thoughts out of context.
Yeah yeah blame the newspaper quoting you
“Nine months left to go, the people should judge. We are a republic, we are based on the will of the people — the people should judge,” Feinstein said Tuesday. “That was my view and it still is my view.” https://t.co/BTC3NkFFOK
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) January 28, 2020
“The LA Times misunderstood what I said today. Before the trial I said I’d keep an open mind. Now that both sides made their cases, it’s clear the president’s actions were wrong. He withheld vital foreign assistance for personal political gain. That can’t be allowed to stand,” Feinstein tweeted.
The Senate is expected to vote later this week on whether or not to call witnesses. If they vote to call witnesses, the trial will continue for an unknown length of time. If Republicans manage to block the witness vote, an acquittal is expected.