Michael Smerconish Claims If Senate Used Secret Ballot, Vote Total to Convict Trump Over Capitol Insurrection Would Be ‘High 80s, Low 90s’


CNN contributor Michael Smerconish said former President Donald Trump would face overwhelming opposition in his impeachment trial and be a lock for conviction — if the Senate could vote by secret ballot.

Speaking with host Chris Cuomo on Friday night, the radio host summed up the potential Republican votes for conviction, now that the Senate has settled on its schedule for the impeachment trial which will start on February 8th.

“Do you think we’re wasting our time following this trial because they’ll never convict?” Cuomo asked, point blank.

“No. I think it has to play itself out,” Smerconish said. “I think you have to follow process. It is serious business when the House passes articles, or in this case, an article of impeachment. I’m dubious as to whether they get to 17. I’m not sure, Chris, that you have the right answer when you say that time is against the president because more information might be forthcoming. That’s true. More evidence, like the story you talked about tonight with Justice [Department], might be coming forward.”

“The other side, however, is that memories begin to fade and there’s the risk that it appears a little bit vindictive,” he added. “Maybe more Republicans will say ‘Hey, come on, Joe Biden is the President of the United States. He’s begun his administration. Why are we still talking about Donald Trump?’ Final thought: if it were a secret ballot, I maintain that the vote would be in the high 80s, low 90s.”

At that last point, Cuomo nodded in assent, but then immediately shot the idea down.

“Right but we can’t have secret ballots. They have to be on the record and people have to see it,” he insisted. “As frustrating as it is, if you can’t do the right thing in the light of attention, then you aren’t doing the right thing.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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