Here’s the thing about that Senate impeachment secret ballot

With the public portion of the House impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump’s high crimes and misdemeanors underway, all cable news sources are fervently discussing the chances that, once articles of impeachment are approved by the House, the Senate would actually vote to remove him. As Palmer Report documented last month, some Republicans believe that if the Senate utilized a secret ballot, there would be thirty or more Republican Senators voting to remove him.

While that’s probably true, impeachment voting is expected to be done in public. However, there still remains a way for Senate GOP members to vote to remove Trump without facing any Trump Twitter attacks directed at them. What if I told you that it would be possible for Senators to actually place their votes in the impeachment process in secret?

Juleanna Glover, an advisor for numerous Republicans including George W. Bush, Rudy Giuliani, and Dick Cheney, has explained that such a secret ballot vote is not so far-fetched. While the Constitution lays out the basis for the impeachment process, stating “no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present,” it allows for the rules to be decided by the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has previously stated that he has no choice but to allow for a legitimate trial with Chief Justice Roberts presiding over it. While McConnell has repeatedly implied that he would do his best to curtail the process, it only requires 51 votes (just four defections from Senate Republicans) to support any rule changes. Former Senator Jeff Flake previously stated that he believes the claim 30 GOP Senators would vote to remove Trump in a secret ballot is actually too low, saying he thought upwards of 35 Republican Senators would vote for his removal.

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