ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt expects a “partisan exercise” as the House considers whether to impeach President Donald Trump but says his pivotal Senate committee is focused on “putting the facts together.”
Blunt is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee that is gathering facts about Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine’s president.
The call is the subject of a House impeachment inquiry into whether Trump abused his authority by seeking an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading Democratic rival in the 2020 election.
Blunt told reporters Wednesday in St. Louis that “putting the facts together on the most recent House allegation is important — and then reaching conclusions,” St. Louis Public Radio reported.
But Blunt said he expects a “partisan exercise” in the Democrat-controlled House.
“I believe they have reached a conclusion that a majority of their members, if not all of their members, are ready to move on the impeachment question,” Blunt said. “And I think they’re likely to do that no matter where the facts lead. But then we’ll see what happens after that.”
On Thursday, Trump said in remarks to reporters outside the White House that China “should start an investigation into the Bidens.
Trump said he hadn’t directly asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to investigate Biden and his son Hunter but said it’s “certainly something we could start thinking about.”
It wasn’t immediately clear if Blunt was concerned about Trump’s latest comment.
Phone and email messages left with Blunt’s press office were not immediately returned.
A spokeswoman for Blunt’s Republican colleague from Missouri, Josh Hawley, also did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
If the House votes to impeach Trump, it would take 67 members of the Senate to remove him from office.
Republicans hold 53 out of 100 seats in the Senate.
Missouri voters overwhelmingly supported Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
“I think they knew exactly the kind of person they were getting when they voted for President Trump — in our state by overwhelming numbers,” Blunt said. “And what’s happening at the border now, very helpful. What’s happening in our economy, very helpful. What’s happening in the reversal of the excessive regulation, very helpful. And families in our state are beginning to see that.”
“I think voters are the best judge of who they vote for and who then works for them,” Blunt said.