Democrats are desperately attempting to secure a conviction against former President Donald Trump, but some of his top allies in Congress were confident from the get-go that it would never happen — and they were right.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), predicted during a Thursday night interview on Fox that he’s completely sure Trump will escape from the Senate impeachment trial without a scratch, saying that there’s “no chance” that Democrats will secure a conviction. On Saturday, the Senate abruptly voted to clear Trump of the charges.
Cruz critiqued House impeachment managers who laid out their case against the 45th president on Thursday, in which they used a series of video — some never released to the public prior to the trial — to paint a picture of just how close sitting members of Congress were to mortal danger.
Cruz, along with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) met with Trump’s attorneys on Thursday night to go over how they would proceed with their defense on Friday. The senators encouraged the lawyers to point to the numerous times that Democrats “incited” violence among their supporters, which is exactly how it played out the next day.
The Texas senator’s prediction, as of this writing, is on target, as it appears increasingly unlikely that more than a handful of Senate Republicans will vote in favor of convicting Mr. Trump.
Trump’s acquittal was especially solidified on Saturday, after it was revealed that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled that he’ll vote in favor of acquitting the president, as Politico reported. McConnell wasn’t exactly clear on his mindset concerning the trial in the days leading up to it and as the prosecution laid out their case this week.
Many pundits believed that if McConnell voted in favor of conviction, it would provide “air cover” for other Republicans to follow suit, as Democrats need a total of 17 Republicans on their side in order to win their second impeachment attempt against the former president.
Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-MA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Ben Sasse (R-NE), and Pat Toomey (R-PA) voted to convict, leaving Democrats far short of the necessary votes.