Mike Murphy, a former adviser to Mitt Romney’s losing 2012 presidential campaign, told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell that a Republican senator told him that there were 30 GOP Senators who would vote to convict Donald Trump in a Senate trial if it were a secret vote.
“One Republican senator told me if it was a secret vote, 30 Republican senators would vote to impeach Trump,” Mike Murphy told “Andrea Mitchell Reports.”
Murphy, also a Republican strategist who worked closely with the late Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain, said the transcript of a July telephone call between Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart “was a much clearer incident than the Mueller report information.” He argues it shows Trump linking antitank missiles with an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
This isn’t surprising at all. About half the Republicans in Congress loathe Trump. But even more members fear him. Those Senators also fear a huge backlash from their Republican constituents. It will take a flipping of public sentiment in favor of impeachment for those senators to help kick Trump out.
But Murphy believes other GOP senators, like the “courageous” Romney, are troubled by the transcript, and he thinks impeachment hearings will help the Democrats.
“The old theory on impeachment was it would help the Republicans,” said Murphy. “I think that’s out the window now. This is a much clearer incident than the Mueller report information. And so when the president released this transcript, you really have to parse your way through it and eliminate a subtext to say no quid pro quo.”
He continued, “The president of the Ukraine asked for antitank missiles because he has a problem, Russian mercenary tanks. The president says, ‘well, let me talk to you a minute about some other things, I’m a great friend of the Ukraine except we haven’t really been paid back, let’s get into this Biden matter.’ It’s a classic shakedown.”
Murphy is old-school and doesn’t realize the ground has shifted beneath his feet. The majority of Republicans don’t believe anything they hear or read in the media and have already discounted whatever happened on the phone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president. They believe the president. They think the impeachment effort is a partisan exercise.
Those 30 Republican Senators may think Trump is as guilty as sin, but if they vote to convict, they better start planning for a future after politics. They won’t survive a primary.