Chris Murphy Says 'Handful' Of GOP Colleagues Support Impeachment

The senator said that as many as five Republicans in the chamber would vote for impeachment, though none have said so publicly.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) on Friday asserted that as many as five of his GOP colleagues would support impeaching President Donald Trump.

“It’s a small list on one hand,” he told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” dismissing speculation that more Republicans would back Trump’s ouster if a vote were held in private.

“I don’t buy this secret ballot thing,” he added. “If there were a secret ballot, there’d still be only a handful of them that would vote to impeach this guy.”

Pressed to confirm that he was speaking in reference to a maximum of five Republicans, Murphy said, “I think that’s probably right.”

On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced that the Democrat-controlled House would move forward with articles of impeachment against the president, following weeks of testimony on Trump’s Ukraine scandal.

“His wrongdoing strikes at the very heart of our Constitution,” she said in a press conference. “Our democracy is what is at stake. The president leaves us no choice but to act because he is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit.”

The House Judiciary Committee is set to hold a hearing Monday to lay out the evidence. A full House vote on bringing formal impeachment charges is expected by the end of the year.

If a simple majority in the 435-member chamber approves of the impeachment charges, it will go to trial in the Republican-led Senate, where it is almost certain that the inquiry will be stymied.

None of the 53 Republican senators have publicly indicated they will vote for the president’s impeachment. Despite Murphy’s assurance that there a few, the chamber would need a super-majority of two-thirds to remove Trump from office.

Pelosi’s latest announcement came after the House Intelligence Committee concluded that Trump committed an abuse of power by pressing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ― while withholding nearly $400 million in U.S. military aid to the country ― to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden based on unfounded corruption allegations.