Republican senators agree with Adam Schiff and the Democratic case against President Trump, but they won't go against the party leader because they are afraid of retribution, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer argued Monday.
Schumer made his case just after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff wrapped up Democrats' closing arguments against Trump in the Senate impeachment trial.
He said Schiff's pitch was stellar.
"I was so moved by his speech," Schumer said. "I hope it pierced the hardness that is put in front of so many of our Republican colleagues. Let's hope and pray. If that didn't do it, I don't know what would."
Part of Schiff's appeal to Republicans was to make the point that, as he said, they are not like President Trump -- they are decent and do know how to do the right thing.
But asked whether any Republicans would join with Democrats and agree with Schiff, Schumer suggested they do, but would not have the fortitude to vote that way in voting to remove Trump from office.
"I think in their hearts, a lot of Republicans agree with a whole lot of what Adam Schiff said," Schumer said. "And he appealed to them. He said, 'You're not him.' Let's hope not."
He suggested though that the blistering attacks Trump leveled against now-retired Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) when they criticized him was still fresh in their minds.
"This president is a vindictive man; he's a nasty man," Schumer told reporters in the Capitol Hill basement. "Every Republican saw what happened with Flake and with Corker. And so it takes strength and courage, even when you know Adam Schiff is right, which I think a lot of Republicans do, to go against a president who you know will be vicious and unrelenting against you."
Several Republicans including Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Rob Portman, Lamar Alexander and Chuck Grassley have opined in recent days that Trump's actions in Ukraine were wrong or inappropriate. But none seem likely to vote against Trump, with the possible exception of Romney.