According to a new report from the Los Angeles Times, Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) is leaning towards acquitting President Trump and letting the voters decide.
“Nine months left to go, the people should judge. We are a republic, we are based on the will of the people — the people should judge,” Feinstein said Tuesday after the President’s legal team concluded “That was my view and it still is my view.”
Considering Democrats would need 20 GOP Senators to vote with them to remove Trump even if they have complete solidarity in voting to convict, even losing a single Senator like Feinstein would be a devastating blow.
LA Times reports
Just after President Trump’s defense lawyers ended arguments in their Senate trial Tuesday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California became the first Democrat to suggest that she could vote to acquit him despite serious concerns about his character.
“Nine months left to go, the people should judge. We are a republic, we are based on the will of the people — the people should judge,” Feinstein said Tuesday, after the president’s team finished a three-day presentation in his defense. “That was my view and it still is my view.”
Still, she indicated that arguments in the trial about Trump’s character and fitness for office had left her undecided. “What changed my opinion as this went on,” she said, is a realization that “impeachment isn’t about one offense. It’s really about the character and ability and physical and mental fitness of the individual to serve the people, not themselves.”
Asked whether she would ultimately vote to acquit, she demurred, saying, “We’re not finished.”
Only one other Democrat had been considered a possible vote against ousting Trump from office — Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia — but he has not tipped his hand. Manchin told CNN on Saturday that Trump’s team did a “good job” in its initial arguments, “making me think about things.” He said separately on Fox, “I am totally undecided.”
Feinstein’s comments came after final arguments from Trump lawyers in which they broadly dismissed the elephant in the Senate chamber: a leaked firsthand account from John Bolton, the former national security advisor, that the president directly tied aid to Ukraine to his demands for the country to investigate political rival Joe Biden.