Senate GOP gripped by conviction vote intrigue | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Senate GOP gripped by conviction vote intrigue

Six GOP senators voted this week to move forward with President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. But Republicans believe several more of them may be considering conviction.

As the Trump defense made its argument on Friday, Republicans privately estimated between 5 and 10 of their senators are seriously weighing conviction. There’s no official whip count, and the matter is not being discussed at party meetings, leaving many in the 50-member conference to only guess at their colleague’s inclinations.

In the past, many Republicans have backed down when flirting to break with Trump, and the safe bet for most in the party is still on acquittal. But at the moment there’s an outside chance that one or more GOP senators could deliver Washington a dramatic last-act twist as the Senate prepares to vote as early as Saturday.

“I could see it as possible. I certainly don’t know how many there could be. Certainly not enough for conviction,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D).

Any Republican voting to convict the president would make huge waves, even if the tally falls far short of 17 GOP senators needed to secure a conviction, as is nearly assured. The 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach the president last month are all facing various degrees of blowback, from censure to early primary challenges.

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