Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is seen by White House officials as one Democrat who could vote against removing President Donald Trump from office after his impeachment trial, The Washington Post reported.
Manchin was the only Democrat to publicly praise Trump’s defense team Saturday, though he joined fellow Democrats in calling for more witnesses, the Post reported.
“I thought they did a good job in presenting the defense for the president,” he said, the Post reported. “The most important thing I took away from today was, they made very clear that there’s not one witness that we’ve heard from . . . that had direct contact with the president. That reaffirms why I have said we should have witnesses.”
Two other Democrat Senators, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Doug Jones of Alabama, are also considered possibilities because they represent states Trump won in 2016, the Post reported.
But Manchin is the only one considered able to be swayed by his good relationship with the president, the Post reported, citing unnamed sources.
“The voters are signaling to Joe, ‘We like you, but we don’t want you go to against our guy,’ ” David McIntosh, the leader of Club for Growth told the Post. “In West Virginia, they have a deep loyalty to Manchin, but a lot of those same voters are really strong Trump supporters.”
Manchin has voted with the president more than 53% of the time, according to the website FiveThirtyEight — more than any other current Democratic senator.
“Every time I have spoken to him, his instincts have always been very moderate, very common sense,” Manchin said of Trump. “By the time the last person comes in and hits him with this and that and the polls, we lose him. I think if the political pundits didn’t get in his face all the time and make him think he’s going to lose this election if you lose one of your followers, we could get something done. He has a hardcore political staff. They say, ‘It’s all about the base. You might lose one voter.’ And then he backs down.”
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