In matters concerning the impeachment trial, Republican senators have been warned: if they go against Trump they should be prepared to reap the whirlwind. “Vote against the president and your head will be on a pike,” a source told CBS News’ Nancy Cordes.
The report did not say whether the threat came from Trump himself, the White House, or Republican leadership. There have been few signs of Republican Senators breaking ranks. All of the procedural votes, which set the rules for the trial, have fallen to defeat on party lines.
The tone set with this report was echoed by the White House’s Director of Legislative Affairs Eric Ueland, who told reporters on Thursday, “I can’t wait for the revenge.”
With new polling showing overwhelming public support for witnesses and documents to be allowed, the threat might be aimed at Republican Senators such Mitt Romney (Utah), Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) who have expressed a willingness to vote with the Democrats in allowing testimony.
But according to Politico, Republicans are feeling more confident that Alexander, although he is set to retire, will stand with leadership in support of wrapping up the impeachment trial as quickly as possible — meaning he will likely vote no on allowing witnesses.
Still, Democrats are still holding out hope. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told MSNBC that he is “optimistic” that after another impassioned speech by Adam Schiff may have convinced enough Republican Senators to perhaps buck the president.
Schiff, during his speech on Thursday night, quoted witness Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who testified during the Congressional portion of the impeachment process and implored the Republican Senators to do the right thing.
“Here, right is supposed to matter. It’s what’s made us the greatest nation on Earth. No Constitution can protect us if right doesn’t matter anymore. You know you can’t trust this president to do what’s right for this country,” Schiff said. “You can trust that he will do what’s right for Donald Trump. He’ll do it now. He’ll do it for the next several months. He’ll do it in the election if he’s allowed to. This is why, if you find him guilty, you must find that he should be removed. Because right matters. Because right matters. And the truth matters. Otherwise, we are lost.”