A former adviser to President George W. Bush has proposed a way for Senate Republicans to remove President Trump from office while avoiding accountability from angry Republican voters.
Juleanna Glover is a veteran Washington hostess, lobbyist, and strategist who has worked on the staffs of Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Glover also advised Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain during his 2008 presidential run.
Glover, 50, a longtime Trump critic who supported independent candidate Evan McMullin in 2016, proposed a strategy for Senate Republicans to oust Trump should the House follow through with impeaching the president. In an article for Politico, Glover wrote that a handful of outgoing Republicans could take all the political heat and force the Senate to adopt a secret vote on the articles of impeachment passed in the House.
"Some might say transparency in congressional deliberations and votes is inviolable, and it's true that none of the previous Senate impeachments have been conducted via secret ballot," she said.
"But the Senate's role in an impeachment is analogous to a U.S. jury, where secret ballots are often used," Glover continued. "When Electoral College gridlock has resulted in the House picking the president — the House elected Thomas Jefferson in 1800 and John Quincy Adams in 1824 — that vote has been secret. And, of course, when citizens vote for president, they do so in private."
The Senate must pass rules governing a trial of the president on the charges brought by the House, and the upper chamber is wholly in charge of determining the trial process. Just three Republicans could hold up passage of the rules to demand a secret vote be added in, according to Glover.
If Republicans are allowed to hide their vote from voters, Glover believes that the odds are decent that more Republicans would vote to remove Trump and meet the two-thirds threshold required to convict on impeachment articles.
"A secret ballot might get Trump out of office sooner than everyone expects: The sooner any three Republican senators make clear that they will support nothing short of a secret ballot, the sooner Trump realizes his best course could be to cut a deal, trading his office for a get-out-of-jail-free card — a clean slate from prosecutors — just as Vice President Spiro Agnew did," Glover concluded.
She added, "And if Trump were to leave office before the end of the year, there might even be enough time for Republicans to have a vibrant primary fight, resulting in a principled Republican as the nominee."