The news gets worse and worse for Democrats with every passing hour. Despite lead impeachment manager Adam Schiff’s (D-CA) ranting and raving, the chances of President Donald Trump’s removal are slipping further and further away.
Case in point: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) stunned Schiff and the Senate on Saturday when he told reporters that he thought Trump’s legal team did “a good job” in presenting their opening statement earlier that day, the Washington Examiner reported.
Can’t afford to lose votes
At this point, it’s looking like Trump’s impeachment is dead in the water. The only thing for Democrat leadership to hope for at this point is a party-line vote that will enable them to hang on to the narrative that this impeachment was rigged.
Mind you, the House vote went down mostly along party lines, with two Democrats coming over to the Republican side. However, because Democrats had the majority, the impeachment still passed, even though there was technically a bipartisan vote against it.
In the Senate, Dems need four Republicans to cross over just to have a majority, which would still leave them far short of the number they need for a supermajority to actually remove Trump from office.
But the fact that Sen. Manchin is already touting the efforts by the Trump legal team is not going to play well in the public eye. Manchin’s vote is already in question, and now, it seems as though he is leaning more toward voting for acquittal.
“A good job. I thought they did a good job,” he said of Trump’s team on Saturday. “They gave us a lot to think about, and I think it gives us more reasons why the one thing that stuck in my mind is they said that there wasn’t a witness that they’ve had so far that had direct contact with the president.”
When asked directly about voting for acquittal, Manchin said: “I just think that we have to let this play out and see what [Trump’s legal team] is doing. They’re doing a good job of basically talking about and making me think about things that have been said.”
Manchin went on to vow that he would remain impartial and allow the facts of the case dictate his vote, not his party.
Quick and easy
If things go according to plan, opening arguments will be wrapped up fairly early in the week. We can then expect several more motions to hear witnesses, which may or may not be successful.
Several Republicans have stated they would like to hear the testimony of former National Security Adviser John Bolton, but Trump may claim executive privilege for national security reasons and block it.
If that happens, expect a vote for acquittal before the end of the week, with Republicans already having more than enough votes to win that battle.