The Republican Party may be facing some big changes in the coming months if GOP senators vote to convict Trump on impeachment charges. Senator Rand Paul is predicting a mass exodus of supporters from the Republican Party if GOPers vote to convict Trump. In a recent interview, Sen. Paul warns that over a third of Republican voters may leave the party if senators betray Trump.
Yahoo News reports:
The senator’s remarks come amid an increasing divide between congressional Republicans who oppose impeaching the president and a smaller number who support the measure following the riots at the Capitol on January 6. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) is reportedly hopeful that Republicans can use impeachment to purge Trump from the GOP, although he would need the support of at least 16 additional Republican senators to vote to convict.
“Look, I didn’t agree with the [Capitol] fight that happened last week, and I voted against overturning the election, but at the same time, the impeachment is a wrongheaded, partisan notion, [and] if Republicans go along with it, it’ll destroy the party,” Paul said during the interview.
“A third of the Republicans will leave the party,” Paul continued. “This isn’t about, anymore, the Electoral College, this is about the future of the party, and whether you’re going to ostracize and excommunicate President Trump from the party. Well, guess what? Millions of his fans will leave as well.”
While a majority of Americans believe Trump should be removed from office immediately, just 17 percent of Republicans support expelling Trump from the presidency, according to an Axios–Ipsos poll released on Thursday. Support for Trump among Republicans has fallen since the Capitol riots; however, 60 percent believe the party should continue to follow Trump once he leaves office, an ABC News/Washington Post poll found.
Senator Lindsey Graham also made remarks urging Republicans to stand up to the impending impeachment trial, calling it “unconstitutional.” Graham’s comment was pointed directly to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who he urged to denounce the impeachment proceedings. Yesterday, McConnell blamed President Trump for his role in inciting the violent mob who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6th.
The Daily Wire reports:
“What we need right now is Sen. McConnell to unequivocally say the second impeachment of Donald Trump after he leaves office is not only unconstitutional, it is bad for the country,” Graham told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “Stand up and fight back.”
“Our country needs to heal,” he continued. “A second impeachment of Donald Trump after he leaves office won’t heal the country, it will further divide the country.”
“As to the Republican Party, if we throw in the towel, or are perceived to having thrown in the towel, and not fighting against this impeachment, the Republican Party, as Rand Paul said, will ‘crack up,’” Graham said.
The House voted to impeach Trump for a second time last week, passing an article that accused the president of inciting rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Trump will have left the White House before the Senate can hold trial over the impeachment article, leaving questions over whether the upper chamber can legally convict a president after he has already left office.