Senate Democrats are bracing for President Trump to seize on the outcome of the upcoming impeachment trial as a source of momentum for his reelection bid.
With 67 votes needed to convict and remove Trump from office, the trial’s outcome is largely pre-baked since Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the chamber. Democrats are worried that an acquittal will only embolden the president, and they feel powerless to prevent it.
“No matter what we do, the president is going to say he did nothing wrong,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).
“We all know the president,” said Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Senate Democrat. “If there are not 67 votes to convict in the Senate, he’ll claim that it was a witch hunt and that he was exonerated.”