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Photos: Getty Images

There's a better than 50-50 chance that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would vote to convict President Trump in an impeachment trial, sources tell Axios.

What they're saying: "The Senate institutional loyalists are fomenting a counterrevolution" to Trump, said a top Republican close to McConnell.

Why it matters: This would represent one of the most shocking and damning votes in the history of American politics, by the most powerful Republican in Congress.

  • McConnell's vote would open the door to the possibility that Trump could be convicted and prohibited from running for president again.

An anti-Trump infection is spreading among Hill Republicans:

  • House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney of Wyoming — the third-ranking House GOP leader, and a top establishment voice — announced that she will vote to impeach Trump.
  • Cheney said of the Capitol mob: "There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution."

The New York Times reported that McConnell "has told associates that he believes President Trump committed impeachable offenses and that he is pleased that Democrats are moving to impeach him."

  • Axios is told McConnell sees this fight as his legacy — defending the Senate and the institution against the verbal attack of the president and the literal attack of his followers.
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Go deeper

Conservatives warn culture, political wars will worsen

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The verdict is clear: The vast majority of Republicans will stand firm with former President Trump. The next phase is clear, too: Republicans are rallying around a common grievance that big government, big media and big business are trying to shut them up, shut them out and shut them down. 

Why it matters: The post-Trump GOP, especially its most powerful media platforms, paint the new reality as an existential threat. This means political attacks are seen — or characterized — as assaults on their very being. 

Updated 3 hours ago - Sports

Swimmer Chase Kalisz first American to win Olympics gold medal

Chase Kalisz of Team United States celebrates after winning the Men's 400m Individual Medley Final on day two of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images

Swimmer Chase Kalisz became on Sunday the first Team USA Olympian to win gold at the Tokyo Games.

The big picture: The Rio 2016 silver medalist's winning time in the men's 400 meters Individual Medley Final was 4 minutes 9.42 seconds. His teammate Jay Litherland took silver .86 seconds later.

California's largest wildfire razes homes as 88 huge blazes burn in U.S.

Firefighters on the scene as dozens of homes burn during the Dixie Fire in the Indian Falls neighborhood of unincorporated Plumas County, California, on July 24. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Flames from California's biggest wildfire were engulfing homes in the state's north overnight — one of 88 large blazes raging in the U.S.

Driving the news: The Dixie Fire, which erupted July 14 near the origin of the deadly 2018 Camp Fire in Butte County, was tearing through the community of Indian Falls in the neighboring Plumas County, per AP.