Republican Institutionalists

If Democrats are to get a fourth GOP vote for witnesses, their best bet is from a group of veteran Republicans who believe in protecting the Senate prerogatives or are retiring and thus have less to fear from a vengeful Trump. This group include Sens. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Pat Toomey (Pa.).

But it won’t be an easy vote for any Republican, to say the least. And there’s not a lot of private discussions between both sides on this issue as well, according to senators in both parties. Either way, this bloc of Republicans could prove pivotal for the Trump proceedings.

“I won’t make a decision about that until, number one, we’ve heard the arguments, and number two, asked our questions,” Alexander said in an interview. “Then I’ll decide if I think we need more evidence about witnesses or documents” to reach a verdict.

“I think we have to have the trial, but I think it is premature now to decide whether we have witnesses. The Clinton model is a sensible model,” Toomey added. “At that point, we’ll have a whole body of information and we can decide” on witnesses.