West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin voiced his opposition to the effort to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time.
The House Democrats introduced articles of impeachment Monday, charging Trump with incitement of insurrection related to the incursion at the U.S. Capitol last week. Lawmakers are expected to vote on the measure Wednesday.
If approved, the Senate would hold a trial, but that wouldn’t happen until after Trump leaves office Jan. 20 — and at least one Democrat wouldn’t be on board with his party’s effort.
In an interview Monday with Bret Baier on Fox News’ “Special Report,” Manchin was asked whether there was any scenario where the Senate would try and convict Trump.
“I don’t see any of that,” he said.
“There will be 48, still 48, Democrats, until we seat Warnock and Senator Ossoff,” Manchin said, referring to incoming Democratic Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff of Georgia.
“So, until that happens, you need 67 votes,” the senator said. “I think, my arithmetic, that means we have 19 Republicans. I don’t see that, and I think the House should know that also. We have been trying to send that message over. They know the votes aren’t there. …
“I think this is so ill-advised for Joe Biden to be coming in, trying to heal the country, trying to be the president of all the people when we are going to be so divided and fighting again.”
His sentiment is echoed by many Republicans, who believe impeachment would further divide the nation and would be pointless with only a few days left in Trump’s term.
Even though Manchin is a Democrat, West Virginia is largely conservative and he occasionally takes the Republican stance on some votes.
However, some House Republicans have signaled that they would vote in favor of impeachment, which would be viewed as widely unpopular among Trump supporters.
According to Forbes, 10 to 20 House Republicans have privately expressed their support for the move.
“I would prefer that we have a more fulsome investigation into what happened. Most of what I know about Jan. 6 came either from personal experience or from Twitter. But at the end of the day, I think it is obvious that the president is no longer qualified to hold that office,” he told CNN.
— Aaron FOX 17 (@AaronParseghian) January 11, 2021
This divide within both parties shows there is no broad consensus on what the appropriate response should be to the Capitol incursion.
Looking forward, Manchin will continue to play a critical role in a Senate split 50-50 along party lines.
Last week, the senator went against Democrats again for their support of additional $2,000 stimulus checks, blasting the move as wasteful.
“I don’t know where in the hell $2,000 came from. I swear to God I don’t. That’s another $400 billion,” he said to The Washington Post.
BREAKING: Sen. Joe Manchin (https://t.co/EHSclJLRrQ.) says “absolutely not” to a round of $2,000 stimulus checks
Biden promised to approve $2K checks if Georgia Dems won their Senate races. Pelosi and Schumer also on board
— Jeff Stein (@JStein_WaPo) January 8, 2021
While figures like New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may drive the direction of the Democratic Party ideologically, moderates like Manchin are the ones who will really help determine major decisions.
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