Reprinted with permission from Alternet
With President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial now underway in the U.S. Senate, pundits are wondering if any Republican senators will side with Democrats and vote “guilty” on the two articles of impeachment that Trump is facing — one for abuse of power, the other for obstruction of Congress. And CBS News is reporting that according to a “Trump confidant,” GOP senators have been issued a dire warning: “vote against the president, and your head will be on a pike.”
So far, there has been little indication that any Republicans will break ranks with their party and vote to convict Trump on either article. Sen. Ted Cruz has criticized Democrats for being redundant and “repeating the same points they’ve made for 13 hours,” and other Senate Republicans have been making the same assertion.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer stressed that Senate Republicans are doing their constituents a disserve if they do not vote to include testimony from witnesses in the trial.
“The same Republicans saying that they heard nothing new just voted nine times on Tuesday to hear nothing new,” Schumer told reporters.
Schumer cited a new Reuters poll saying that 72 percent of Americans believe the trial should feature witnesses. The Senate’s most high-ranking Democrat told reporters, “Everyone here who’s elected has some duty to listen to their constituents, and their constituents are saying, ‘Witnesses and documents.’”
In opening statements for the trial on Wednesday, House managers attacked debunked conspiracy theories that Trump has promoted — including the claim that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 presidential election.