5 GOP Senators Will Consider Convicting Trump. Here's Where Some Others Stand

Ten House Republicans crossed the aisle to vote for the second impeachment of President Donald Trump. But nearly twice as many GOP Republicans will be needed in order to convict the commander-in-chief over in the Senate.

Should all 50 members of the Democratic Caucus vote to convict, and all senators be present and voting, 17 Republicans would need to agree that Trump committed "incitement of insurrection" when a violent mob of his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6 to reach the upper chamber's required two-third threshold to convict.

It's a difficult feat that has never been accomplished in American history. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) has cast doubts on conviction and said another impeachment is "ill-advised" because it would further divide the country, making it plausible that Democrats will need more than 17 Republicans to jump on board.

But Trump's former firewall of GOP support on Capitol Hill has diminished significantly since helping to incite the January 6 riot, as some Republicans are anxious to rid the T.V.-reality-star-turned-president from the party.

The trial is not expected to commence until after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn into office and Trump has vacated the White House.

Here is where Republican senators stand so far on convicting Trump of incitement of insurrection.

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump stepping off Air Force One upon arrival in Harlingen, Texas, on January 12. Trump on January 13 became the first US president to be impeached for a second time, when a bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives voted to charge him with inciting last week's attack on the US Capitol. Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty

On the Fence:

At least five GOP senators have indicated they're open to conviction, but none have yet committed to voting one way or the other. The notion that so many are open to the idea is a strong indication of the intraparty divide and is a departure from the stance nearly all Republicans had during the first impeachment: it's not going to happen. Whether Trump will be convicted is unknown.

Lisa Murkowski (Alaska): Undecided but says House's swift impeachment was "appropriate."

In a scathing statement issued Thursday, the moderate lawmaker pit direct blame on the president's repeated false claims about the election that spawned violence.

"For months, the President has perpetuated false rhetoric that the election was stolen and rigged, even after dozens of courts ruled against these claims. When he was not able to persuade the courts or elected officials, he launched a pressure campaign against his own Vice President, urging him to take actions that he had no authority to do. On the day of the riots, President Trump's words incited violence, which led to the injury and deaths of Americans – including a Capitol Police officer – the desecration of the Capitol, and briefly interfered with the government's ability to ensure a peaceful transfer of power. Such unlawful actions cannot go without consequence and the House has responded swiftly, and I believe, appropriately, with impeachment."

On Jan. 8, Murkowski became the first GOP senator to call for Trump's immediate resignation.

"I want him to resign. I want him out," she told the Anchorage Daily News. "He has caused enough damage."

Ben Sasse (Neb.): Undecided but says he will "definitely consider."

"The United States Capitol—the world's greatest symbol of self-government—was ransacked while the leader of the free world cowered behind his keyboard—tweeting against his Vice President for fulfilling the duties of his oath to the Constitution," Sasse said following the attack.

"Lies have consequences. This violence was the inevitable and ugly outcome of the President's addiction to constantly stoking division."

Pat Toomey (Pa.): Undecided but says Trump "committed impeachable offenses."

"I do think the president committed impeachable offenses," Toomey, who is not seeking re-election next year, told Fox News on Jan. 9.

Toomey has said it is "debatable" whether a trial can occur after a president has left office.

Mitt Romney (Utah): Undecided but voted to convict Trump during his first impeachment and says the insurrection was "incited" by the president. He's also stated there must be a "meaningful consequence."

"We gather today due to a selfish man's injured pride and the outrage of his supporters whom he has deliberately misinformed for the past two months and stirred to action this very morning," Romney said in a Jan. 6 statement after the riot. "What happened here today was an insurrection, incited by the president of the United States. Those who choose to continue to support his dangerous gambit by objecting to the results of a legitimate, democratic election will forever be seen as being complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy. They will be remembered for their role in this shameful episode in American history. That will be their legacy."

Mitch McConnell (Ky.): Undecided but says he has "not made a final decision."

Odd as it may seem, the Senate majority leader (soon to be minority leader), appears to be at his whit's end with Trump.

"While the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate," McConnell told his fellow GOP senators in an email on Wednesday.

Susan Collins (Maine) is also considered a toss-up, but she has not yet made any public comments. Her office did not respond to a request for comment.

Count Me Out:

At least 21 GOP senators are either not considering or have strongly indicated, such as voting to overturn the election results shortly after the attack on the Capitol, that they will not vote to convict Trump.

  • Ted Cruz (Texas)
  • Josh Hawley (Mo.)
  • Cindy Hyde-Smith (Miss.)
  • John Kennedy (La.)
  • Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.)
  • Roger Marshall (Kan.)
  • Rick Scott (Fla.)
  • Tommy Tuberville (Ala.)
  • Marco Rubio (Fla.)
  • Rand Paul (Ky.)
  • Roger Wicker (Miss.)
  • Roy Blunt (Mo.)
  • Steve Daines (Mon.)
  • Kevin Cramer (N.D.)
  • Tim Scott (S.C.)
  • Lindsey Graham (S.C.)
  • Tom Cotton (Ark.)
  • James Lankford (Okla.)
  • Mike Rounds (S.D.)
  • Bill Hagerty (Tenn.)
  • Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.)

Unlikely to Convict:

Three senators have not stated a position or do not appear likely to convict:

  • Richard Shelby (Ala.): The Alabama senator told AL.com that he will "wait and hear the evidence" in the trial before making his decision.
  • Chuck Grassley (Iowa): "It's a big constitutional question about impeaching a private citizen. That's a major thing you've got to think about: Should Congress, under the Constitution, even do it?" Grassley said, per Radio Iowa.
  • Rob Portman (Ohio): "If the Senate conducts an impeachment trial, among my considerations will be what is best to help heal our country rather than deepen our divisions," the Ohio senator said in a statement.

The Silent Minority:

Twenty other senators either did not respond to Newsweek's request for comment or their offices' declined to offer a position.

  • Dan Sullivan (Alaska)
  • John Boozman (Ark.)
  • Mike Braun (Ind.)
  • Jerry Moran (Kan.)
  • Bill Cassidy (La.)
  • Deb Fischer (Neb.)
  • Richard Burr (N.C.)
  • Thom Tillis (N.C.)
  • John Hoeven (N.D.)
  • Jim Inhofe (Okla.)
  • John Thune (S.D.)
  • Mike Lee (Utah)
  • Shelley Moore Capito (W.V.)
  • Ron Johnson (Wis.)
  • John Barrasso (Wyo.)
  • Mike Crapo (Idaho)
  • Joni Ernst (Iowa)
  • Todd Young (Ind.)
  • Jim Risch (Idaho)
  • John Cornyn (Texas)