Politics

EXCLUSIVE: We Asked Every GOP Senator About Impeachment. Seven Ruled It Out.

Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

  • The Daily Caller contacted every Republican Senate office this week to ask if they would rule out impeachment.
  • The responses indicate that while many Republicans are willing to criticize the inquiry, most will not rule out voting to remove Trump from office altogether.
  • Many Senate offices were unwilling to respond to our inquiries altogether.

Most Republican senators refused to rule out voting to remove President Donald Trump from office in an impeachment trial over the Ukraine scandal when contacted by the Daily Caller this week.

The Caller contacted all 53 Republican Senate offices Monday and Tuesday to ask if senators would rule out voting to remove Trump from office, and received a variety of responses–seven senators explicitly rejected impeachment in their statement.

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith’s office responded simply, saying, “Senator Hyde-Smith does not support impeachment.” The Caller again reached out to Hyde-Smith’s office Tuesday to ask if her decision was changed by U.S. diplomat William Taylor’s testimony Tuesday on Capitol Hill, to which the office responded, “No change.”

Sen. Thom Tillis’ office also rejected impeachment, saying, “Senator Tillis has reviewed the transcript and the complaint and strongly believes there is zero-basis to even entertain the impeachment of the President.” Tillis stood by his statement when asked again after the testimony of Taylor. (RELATED: Tucker And Patel: The Truth About Impeachment)

“Democrats have been trying to impeach President Trump from the moment he was elected, and they continue to play partisan political games to try to overturn the results of the 2016 election and influence the 2020 election,” the Tillis statement reads. “Democrats are taking a page out of the Kavanaugh playbook by flooding the zone with baseless allegations and denying any sort of due process.”

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) speaks to reporters in the Senate basement (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe’s office also said that Inhofe had ruled out voting for Trump’s removal from office “at this time.” The Caller also reached out following Taylor’s testimony Tuesday, but did not receive a response by press time.

Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker’s office responded to the Daily Caller by saying, “Senator Wicker does not support impeachment.”

“After reading the transcript of the phone call between the president and President Zelensky, I do not believe the president committed an impeachable offense,” South Dakota Sen. Mike Rounds told the Daily Caller when asked about impeachment.

Emily Benavides, spokesperson for Ohio Sen. Portman told the Daily Caller, “As he has said many times, Rob does not support the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.”

“Speaker Pelosi’s actions are a rush to judgment and were made before most of the facts were known. Absent concrete evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors, Congress should not use impeachment proceedings to overturn the results of an election. Since President Trump’s election, Democrats have been trying to delegitimize his presidency, and if unfounded, impeachment of President Trump would only further fracture our already divided country,” Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran told the Daily Caller. (RELATED: Trump On Impeachment: ‘It’s The Only Way’ Democrats Can Stop Me)

Others who responded expressed a distaste for the impeachment inquiry announced by Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last month, but didn’t rule out voting to remove Trump in a possible future impeachment trial.

“The whole point of the Senate’s role is to serve as a jury while evidence is presented. I won’t prejudice that responsibility by answering a hypothetical question,” North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer told The Caller in a statement. “The House should not present articles of impeachment without evidence to support such an awesome responsibility. So far they appear on a three-year fishing expedition.”

Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander told The Caller that it is “inappropriate for the president to be talking with foreign governments about investigating his political opponents.” However, Alexander also said that “impeachment would be a mistake.”

“An election, which is just around the corner, is the right way to decide who should be president. Impeachment has never removed a president. It will only divide the country further. If the House impeaches the president, the Senate would be the jury. There would be many twists and turns between now and a Senate trial. Therefore, as a potential juror, I will have nothing more to say about impeachment until all the evidence is presented and all the arguments are made,” Alexander said.

Florida Sen. Rick Scott told the Daily Caller that he has read the transcript and that he believes no laws were broken. He did say that he would continue to listen to all new information that comes out, but that he believes this is another effort from the Democrats to push Trump out of office.

“I’ve read the transcript and I don’t see anything in the transcript. No one showed me that there’s a violation of the law. The standard is high crimes and misdemeanors. I think this is just the Democrats. They’ve always been wanting to impeach this guy, Trump, since he got elected and this is just the latest example. I’m always going to keep listening to when information comes out. But it’s crazy that they’re doing all this work over there in secret,” Scott told The Caller.

Montana Sen. Steve Daines’ office gave a statement accusing Democrats of being “obsessed with impeachment since before President Trump was even sworn into office.”

“[Steve] believes House Dems should focus on the facts not partisan politics,” Daines’ office said in a statement. “Steve is focused on working on behalf of Montanans and the American people on issues like lowering prescription drug costs and getting important trade deals finalized.”

Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., speaks with reporters (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn told The Caller, “There has been no vote in the House to start the process. Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats aren’t abiding by the rules. There has been no due process allowed and Tennesseans see this process as illegitimate.”

Arkansas Sen. John Boozman told The Caller, “The Senate voted unanimously to request that the whistleblower complaint be turned over to the Senate Intelligence Committee.”

“This is the responsible manner in which to investigate accusations. The Speaker is ignoring this process with her blatantly partisan tactics. Democrats have long sought to weaken the president, appease their base and further divide the country through impeachment.”

Many Senate offices who did respond to Caller reporters simply linked back to older comments. When contacted, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s office shared an interview he did on CBS’ Face The Nation about impeachment, but did not explicitly answer whether or not Cruz would commit to voting against removing the president. (RELATED: Democrats Compared Clinton’s Impeachment To Lynching, Now Say Trump’s Racist For Doing The Same)

Texas Sen. John Cornyn’s office also pointed the Caller to a previous statement of his, reading, “I have no doubt that if the facts were on their side, [Democrats] would allow this process to be in the open.”

Sen. Susan Collins’ office also shared a quote she previously gave that reads, “I am amazed that some of my colleagues have already made up their minds one way or the other before all the evidence is in and before the facts are known.”

“I think that’s entirely inappropriate whether they’re for impeachment or against impeachment. under the constitution, the role of the senator is to act as a juror and that’s what I did in the case of the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton and should this come before us, and I think it will, that’s what I will do here.”

Other senators, like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Indiana Sen. Mike Braun, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, West Virginia Sen. Shelley Capito, Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy, Utah Sen. Mike Lee, Sen. David Perdue, Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, Arizona Sen. Martha McSally and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, also didn’t give comments, but simply pointed The Caller to previous statements.

North Carolina Sen. Burr’s office declined to comment altogether. (RELATED: Impeachment Is Getting Harder For Democrats To Resist, Here’s What Those Close To Trump Are Saying About It)

Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) speaks to journalists (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

President Trump lashed out at Republicans on Monday over what he perceived as the party not standing behind him on impeachment.

During an interview on Fox News’ “Hannity” Monday, Trump said that Democrats “don’t have the Mitt Romneys of the world–people who will go against the party.” (RELATED: Ilhan Omar Wants Kavanaugh Impeached — And President Trump Too)

“They stick together. I respect that. The other thing is they are vicious. They are much more vicious.”

In the past few days, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney signaled his openness to voting to remove Trump if he saw fit.

“At this stage, I am strenuously avoiding trying to make any judgment,” Romney told The Atlantic.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham also said he may be open to voting to remove Trump during an interview with Axios on HBO, but only if new evidence emerged.

“Are you open-minded if more to comes out that you could support impeachment?” Axios’ Jonathan Swan asked. (RELATED: Should The Senate Democrats Running For President Recuse Themselves From Impeachment Votes?)

“Sure, I mean show me something that is a crime,” Graham said.

Graham’s office told The Caller on Tuesday that “nothing has changed” and that the senator “has yet to see anything that is impeachable.”

Many Senate offices did not respond at all. Offices contacted by The Caller that refused to give comments include:

  • Barrasso
  • Blunt
  • Cassidy
  • Crapo
  • Cotton
  • Enzi
  • Ernst
  • Gardner
  • Grassley
  • Hawley
  • Hoeven
  • Toomey
  • Shelby
  • Paul
  • Scott
  • Murkowski
  • Johnson
  • Roberts
  • Sullivan
  • Risch
  • Thune
  • Sullivan

Regardless, Senate Republicans do not appear to be concerned about House Democrats’ ongoing efforts to impeach Trump, with many saying even if the House were to move forward with impeachment, that there is no way the Senate would vote to impeach the president.

The Daily Caller spoke with over ten GOP senators in mid-October, who all shared their views about House Democrats’ efforts to impeach the President. Not one senator was concerned about the impeachment process, saying they are most concerned about the Democrats’ ongoing attempts to impeach Trump based on no hard evidence. (RELATED: Senate Republicans Are Not At All Worried About Impeachment)

Despite Pelosi’s early reluctance to push for impeachment, there are currently 228 Democrats who support impeachment or an impeachment inquiry. Pelosi has said she believes Trump is “goading” Democrats to impeach him because he thinks it will help him fire up his base.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, pauses while speaking to members of the media at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Republican National Committee (RNC) raised approximately $1 million dollars the day after Pelosi came out in favor of the impeachment of Trump for the first time after meeting with her caucus.

Democrats have continued to send congressional subpoenas to those close to Trump for documents related to the ongoing scandal regarding Trump’s phone call with the President of Ukraine and whether Trump asked him to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden in exchange for U.S. military aid to Ukraine. The House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight committees are all investigating Trump, his cabinet members, and closest allies.

Many of Pelosi’s Democratic colleagues previously pushed for impeaching Trump, including Democratic Texas Rep. Al Green, who broke with Pelosi when he vowed to force a vote to impeach Trump in late March. Green, who previously had several bills to impeach Trump overwhelmingly rejected by the House of Representatives, called for a third impeachment vote. Pelosi said impeachment was “just not worth it” in a March interview.

Pelosi said she will not hold a full vote to authorize an impeachment inquiry, which Trump has continued to call for.

The White House did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller when asked about the current support from GOP Senators, regarding impeachment.