Jeff Flake: ‘At least 35’ GOP senators would vote to remove Trump if vote was private


, USA TODAYPublished 8:14 p.m. ET Sept. 27, 2019 | Updated 8:33 p.m. ET Sept. 27, 2019

WASHINGTON — Former Republican Senator Jeff Flake said that he thinks at least 35 Republican senators would vote for President Donald Trump to be removed from office if they could vote in private.

Speaking at the 2019 Texas Tribune Festival Thursday, Flake was responding to comments made by Republican political consultant Mike Murphy on MSNBC who said that if there was a secret vote, at least 30 GOP Senators would back impeachment.

“That’s not true. There would be at least 35,” Flake said.

Once an officeholder has been impeached, the proceedings shift to the Senate, which holds a trial and decides whether to convict the accused and remove him or her from office.

Calls for an official impeachment inquiry came to fruition Tuesday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the president’s efforts to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

During an interview with NPR, the Arizona Republican elaborated on his comments, continuing that “anybody who has sat through two years, as I have, of Republican luncheons realizes that there’s not a lot of love for the president. There’s a lot of fear of what it means to go against the president, but most Republican senators would not like to be dealing with this for another year or another five years.”

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