Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on Tuesday became the first Democrat to waver on the campaign to impeach the president, KTLA reported.
After President Trump’s lawyers wrapped up their three-day presentation in his defense, Feinstein suggested that she may vote to acquit him despite her concerns about his character.
“Nine months left to go, the people should judge. We are a republic, we are based on the will of the people — the people should judge,” Feinstein said. “That was my view and it still is my view.”
However, the senator indicated that she had not yet made a decision on the matter. “What changed my opinion as this went on,” she said, is a realization that “impeachment isn’t about one offense. It’s really about the character and ability and physical and mental fitness of the individual to serve the people, not themselves.”
When asked whether she would ultimately vote to acquit, she replied: “We’re not finished.”
Meanwhile, there were conflicting reports Tuesday night about whether the GOP had the votes to block a call for witnesses.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday night that Republicans currently do not.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the vote total wasn’t where it needed to be on blocking witnesses or documents, these people said. He had a card with “yes,” “no” and “maybes” marked on it, apparently a whip count, but he didn’t show it to senators.
The Washington Examiner’s chief congressional correspondent Susan Ferrechio however reported that the GOP consensus was mostly against calling witnesses.
Bolton claims may be a bust. Senate Republicans hint after a closed-door meeting Tuesday afternoon that the GOP consensus is mostly against witnesses. The whip (vote counter), Sen. John Thune, tells us the Senate trial "shouldn't" go beyond Friday. "We are kind of on schedule"
— Susan Ferrechio (@susanferrechio) January 28, 2020
"I'm increasingly optimistic this ends Friday" @LindseyGrahamSC said on Fox News, when asked about a vote coming Friday on calling witnesses
— Susan Ferrechio (@susanferrechio) January 29, 2020
And Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) told Bret Baier on Special Report Tuesday evening that by the end of the week, the Senate majority would have the votes to shut the impeachment farce down.
“I believe that on Friday when we get to the decision of whether we’re going to have witnesses, we’re not going to do it. There’s no logic to doing it,” he told Baier.
Scott pointed out that Democrats had their chance during the House Inquiry to call as many witnesses as they wanted, but chose instead to vote on impeaching the president and kicking the matter to the Senate.
“You can’t feel sorry for them. They’ve had their witnesses,” he said. “I don’t believe we’re going to have any witnesses.”
Late breaking impeachment news on Twitter:
Whoever runs Feinstein's Twitter account is now walking this back, saying reporters "misunderstood" what Feinstein really meant, which seems unlikely. The more likely option is that staff are now re-educating Feinstein about how she will vote. https://t.co/4RiS5Jhjrh
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) January 28, 2020
The impeachment voting situation in the Senate is very fluid at the moment. One surprising name rumored to be considering a vote against Trump on witnesses: @BillCassidy, who is up for re-election this November in Louisiana, a state Trump won by 20 points in 2016.
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) January 29, 2020