Appearing Wednesday on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, Mike Murphy, a former senior adviser to Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and John McCain (R-AZ), claimed a Republican senator told him that 30 of the party’s U.S. senators would support impeaching President Donald Trump in a “secret vote” in light of the president’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
A partial transcript is as follows:
ANDREA MITCHELL: Politically, [impeachment] could be poison for House Democrats and for the Democrat Party in 2020, but the [Trump-Zelensky] transcript, on the face of it, does not clear the president, as they’ve been claiming.
MIKE MURPHY: No, the old theory on impeachment was that it would help the Republicans. I think that’s out the window now. This is a much clearer incident than the Mueller report information. When the president released this transcript, you really have to parse your way through it to eliminate all subtext of no quid pro quo.
I agree that it doesn’t have to be a quid pro quo, but look at the context. The aid to Ukraine, the defense and military aid, was held up, the president of Ukraine asked for anti-tank missiles because he’s got a problem with Russian mercenary tanks, and the president says “let me talk to you about some other things, you know I’m a great friend to Ukraine, but it hasn’t really been paid back. Let’s get into this Biden matter.”
It’s a classic shake-down. That’s going to be the argument. And I’m telling you, these Senate Republicans, should the Democrats vote impeachment, which is far more likely than not, are going to be pinned down to a yes-no answer. And if they provide cover for Donald Trump for this, a clear violation of his role as president, we’re going to lose [the Senate race in] Colorado with Cory Gardner. We’re going to lose Maine with Susan Collins. We’re going to lose Arizona with Martha McSally. And the Democrats will put the Senate very much in play… One Republican senator told me if it was a secret vote, 30 Republican senators would vote to impeach Trump.