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Impeachment by the Numbers: Do Dems Have the Votes to Sack Trump?

10-28-2019

News of the successful weekend raid to kill the leader of ISIS could make it a little harder for Democrats to impeach the president, and they're already facing a nearly impossible task in the Senate.

Trump provided reporters with incredible - perhaps unprecedented - details on the US Special Forces Saturday evening raid

"He was an animal and he was a gutless animal. This is a great day for our country," Trump said.

But, heightened tensions are expected to rise again as Washington's attention shifts from the raid back to Trump's impeachment inquiry.

The president and many Republicans charge that the House impeachment process is improper. They believe the full House of Representatives should vote to approve the inquiry and the hearings should be held in public, not behind closed doors.

An attorney for Charles Kupperman, former White House national security official, said Kupperman was scheduled to testify on Monday, CNN reports.

If he refuses to take the stand, he could face "contempt of Congress" charges for the Ukraine scandal.

Additional witnesses summoned this week are current National Security Council staff members Tim Morrison and Alexander Vindman. 

William Taylor, the top US diplomat in Ukraine, told lawmakers in his deposition last week that Morrison is essential in the inquiry due to phone calls he had with Morrison that described the Ukraine effort.

Also, committees are scheduled to hear from three other State Department and Defense Department witnesses. Legislators want to determine whether military aid to Ukraine was delayed as a condition of the investigations.

Friday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced a resolution condemning the inquiry, which all but three Senate Republicans are co-sponsoring.

"The purpose of the resolution is to let the House know that the process you're engaging in regarding the impeachment of President Trump is out of bounds, is inconsistent with due process as we know it. It's a Star Chamber-type inquiry and it's a substantial deviation from what the House has done in the past regarding impeachment of other presidents," Graham said.

It takes 67 votes in the Senate to remove a president from office.

Democrats hold 45 Senate seats, plus two independents who caucus with them. That means they would need 20 Republicans to join them in voting to convict.

With at least 50 Senate Republicans supporting Sen. Graham's condemnation of the House impeachment inquiry, the numbers just don't add up for the Democrats to remove Trump from office. 

Amidst mounting pressure, Democrats are reportedly considering making the hearings public as soon as mid-November. 

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