GOP Senator Says She Expects 'Some Democrats' to Vote to Acquit Trump In Impeachment Trial

Republican Senator Martha McSally told Fox News on Tuesday that she expects "some Democrats" to join with Republicans to acquit President Donald Trump when the Senate votes Wednesday in its impeachment trial.

McSally, who represents Arizona and was appointed to her post after failing to win a 2018 race against Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema, was previously viewed as a Republican who might vote against the president, as she is facing a tough election against Democrat Mark Kelly. However, as the impeachment process moved forward, she proved to be a firm Trump defender.

The Republican senator told Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade that she didn't anticipate any of her GOP colleagues would vote to remove Trump. She argued that this would be a vote to "decapitate" the government ahead of the 2020 election.

Martha McSally
Senator Martha McSally (R-Arizona) attends the Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing for Barbara M. Barrett to become Secretary of the Air Force on September 12 in Washington, D.C. Mark Wilson/Getty

"I would expect Republicans to vote to acquit, I would expect some Democrats to as well," McSally said. "If they look at their constitutional responsibilities here...the question is: If even if everything they [Democrats] say is accurate, which it's not, does that rise to the level of removing a president from office?"

Most analysts have long predicted it was highly unlikely Trump would be removed from office by the Republican-controlled Senate. While some speculated that a few GOP lawmakers could join with Democrats in voting against the president, a two-thirds majority is required for removing a president. With the current Senate makeup, this means at least 20 Republicans would need to vote alongside all of the chamber's 20 Democrats and two independents.

As McSally suggested, some Democrats still appear to be on the fence, with some possibly considering voting to acquit Trump this week. Moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin on Monday criticized the president's actions toward Ukraine, which led to his impeachment by the House in December, but suggested that the Senate should censure Trump instead of removing him from office.

"Removing this president at this time would not only further divide our deeply divided nation but also further poison our already toxic political atmosphere," said Manchin, who represents West Virginia.

Joe Manchin
Senator Joe Manchin on his way to the impeachment trial's proceedings on January 31. He has suggested that the Senate should censure President Donald Trump instead of removing him from office. RENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty

"I see no path to the 67 votes [the two-thirds majority needed to convict Trump]," he continued. "However, I do believe a bipartisan majority of this body would vote to censure President Trump.... Censure would allow this body to unite across party lines."

Meanwhile, there is also speculation that Republican Senator Mitt Romney of Utah could join the Democrats and vote to remove Trump. Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, was an early critic of Trump's dealings with Ukraine. He broke ranks with his GOP colleagues during the Senate trial by voting with Democrats to call additional witnesses.