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Will the Senate vote to convict Trump?

Watch Jon Lieber, who leads Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, lend perspective to this week's historic impeachment proceedings.

Impeachment. President Trump became the first president ever to be impeached twice this week. And the question on everybody's mind is will he be convicted in the Senate? And I think the answer right now is we just don't know. I'd probably bet against it. There was a really strong Republican vote against impeaching him in the House, with only 10 of the over 100 Republicans breaking with the President and voting to impeach him. And the question now is in the Senate, is there more support for a conviction? Senate Majority Leader McConnell has indicated he's at least open to it and wants to hear some of the facts. And I expect you're going to hear a lot of other Republicans make the same statement, at least until the trial begins.

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Watching Mitch McConnell

The US House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to impeach President Trump a second time. The outcome was a bit different this time because 10 House Republicans (of 211 total) voted in favor.

But there's a far more consequential difference between this impeachment and the one early last year. This time, there's a genuine possibility that when the article is sent to the Senate, two thirds of senators will vote to convict Trump of high crimes and misdemeanors. That would be a first in American history.

The outcome hinges on one man: Republican Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

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This time, Trump's impeachment will have Republican support

Jon Lieber, who leads Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, shares his perspective as Congress considers a second impeachment:

Big story this week is the president of the United States is about to be the only president ever to be impeached twice by the House of Representatives. Articles of impeachment should pass the House on Wednesday morning. The difference between this impeachment and the last impeachment is that this time there will be Republican support for the removal from office. A Senate trial can't begin until probably after the president has left office however. So this really isn't about kicking him out. It's about holding him accountable for the riot that happened at the Capitol last week, and potentially disqualifying him from ever running for future federal office. All eyes will be on the Senate and while it doesn't look likely that he will be convicted there, should some of the more prominent leaders in the Senate come out in favor of his impeachment, I think you may find the 17 votes you need in order to convict Trump.

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Biden's controversial Defense pick may need bipartisan support

Jon Lieber, Managing Director of the United States for the Eurasia Group, shares his insights on US politics this week:

First question. Why is Biden's nomination of Lloyd Austin for Secretary of Defense controversial?

It's controversial because Austin has not been out of the military for the required seven years that are needed, under the National Security Act of 1947, to ensure civilian control over the Department of Defense. As a result, he'll need a waiver from Congress in order to serve. This would be the second waiver that Congress has approved in the last four years with the first one coming for Trump's Secretary of Defense, General Jim Mattis. That was justified at the time because Congress was a little concerned about President Trump and really wanted somebody with a steady hand like Mattis on the till. But Biden has other options, including Michele Flournoy, who has a lot of supporters in Capitol Hill. And so, you're seeing some Democrats suggest they may not be willing to give a waiver this time. Austin may require a lot of Republican votes in order to get confirmed.

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