According to CNN, a group of Senate Republicans is warning Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he will lose support within the party if he votes to convict former President Donald Trump in the upcoming impeachment trial.
McConnell, who is the longest-serving Senate Republican leader in history, has long had strong support within the Senate GOP Conference. But some say if the GOP leader votes to convict Trump, his backing will quickly wane.
“If he does, I don’t know if he can stay as leader,” said one senior GOP senator who said several of his colleagues held similar views and asked not to be named discussing sensitive internal politics.
Asked if he could continue supporting McConnell if the leader voted against Trump, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) told CNN: “No, no, no.” Johnson called “such a vote a ‘dangerous precedent’ and adding: ‘I don’t even think we should be having a trial.’”
CNN noted that McConnell is holding his cards close, not yet indicating how he would vote in the impeachment trial. The Kentucky Republican reportedly has told colleagues and associates that he intends to keep an open mind while listening to arguments.
But he has privately contended that Trump’s actions were at least impeachable — and has made no secret about his disdain with the former President’s actions in the run-up to the deadly January 6 riot at the US Capitol where pro-Trump insurrections tried to stop the congressional certification of President Joe Biden’s win.