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Government & Politics

Ohio's Senators Prepare to Vote on Whether to Convict President Trump

drawing of Donald Trump
NPR
The Senate is set to vote Wednesday on whether to convict and remove from office President Donald Trump.

The Senate impeachment vote is widely expected to result in President Trump’s acquittal on both articles. 

One of Ohio’s senators says that doesn’t mean senators think he’s not guilty.  

Democrat Sherrod Brown says behind closed doors many of his Republican Senate colleagues acknowledge to him that Trump did something wrong.

“Privately they tell me they know this president broke the law. Privately they tell me he lies, he cheated and got caught and covered this up," Brown said. "They are not willing to take that next step to vote against the president in public."  

Brown says they’re afraid of how the president would retaliate. Some constituents have suggested senators should be able to cast secret ballots. Brown disagrees.

“Because we represent the public our votes should be public. They are public. Maybe if they were private some of my colleagues would grow a backbone, but that’s not our system,” Brown said. Brown won’t tip his hand on how he’ll vote.

Ohio's other senator, Republican Rob Portman has indicated that he will not vote to convict the president. While he acknowledges Trump’s actions were inappropriate, he doesn’t think they were severe enough to remove him from office.

Ohio's Senators Prepare to Vote on Whether to Convict President Trump
While inappropriate, Sen. Rob Portman does not think the President's actions were high crimes.

“Impeachment is not appropriate here, one because it’s not what the founders intended for impeachment to be used for. They meant it to be a very rare occurrence. Treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors is how they described it. And removing a duly elected president they believe, the founders demand, a very high, high standard. I don’t see that in this case,” Portman said.  

The Senate vote is set for 4:00 p.m. Wednesday.