Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), an adviser to the Senate Republican leadership, told reporters on Wednesday that Republicans do not have the votes to dismiss articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
If the House passes the articles of impeachment, they would then reach the Senate, which would need 67 votes to convict Trump. But some Republicans have said that the possibility of quickly dismissing charges would require 51 votes, which the Republicans don’t have, according to Cornyn.
The Republicans have a 53-party majority in the Senate.
“There’s some people talking about trying to stop the bill, dismiss charges basically as soon as they get over here. I think that’s not going to happen. That would require 51 votes,” Cornyn told reporters Wednesday. “I think it would be hard to find 51 votes to cut the case off before the evidence is presented,” he added.
Cornyn added that it might be better for the Senate to hold a trial if the House impeaches the president.
He said that “the better course would be to let each side have their say and then have the Senate vote and see if they can meet the two-thirds threshold” to determine whether the upper body of Congress should impeach Trump.
It would be very unlikely that enough Republicans would vote to remove Trump from office, Cornyn said.
“In the end, we need to have a process that the American people think was fair,” he said.
Other Senate Republicans have stated that an impeachment trial is needed.
“I’ll follow what the leadership wants to do but I think that if it does come over to the Senate that we should afford due process to the whole journey, where that hasn’t been done coming to this point,” said Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), adding that dismissing articles of impeachment “would be probably the wrong thing to do” because it would not “clear the slate” of allegations against Trump, according to The Hill.
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told the news outlet that he is “not going to support cutting off a trial because of somebody’s politics.”
The first public House impeachment inquiry hearing was held on Wednesday, including testimonies from State Department diplomats Bill Taylor and George Kent.
An anonymous whistleblower’s complaint to the intelligence community’s inspector general was made saying that Trump had pressed Ukraine’s president to investigate potential Democratic foe Joe Biden, Bidens’ son, and he was holding up U.S. military aid. Biden’s son sat on the board of a Ukrainian energy firm. Trump has denied the allegations.