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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. 

Pentagon approves request for 100 National Guard troops for "Justice for J6" rally

Security fencing has been reinstalled around the Capitol. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved a request from Capitol Police to provide 100 D.C. National Guard troops in case law enforcement requires additional support at Saturday's "Justice for J6" rally at the Capitol.

Why it matters: Security preparations have ramped up ahead of the pro-Trump demonstration, where hundreds of protesters sympathetic to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack are expected to gather.

Biden threatens new sanctions against Ethiopian officials over Tigray conflict

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

President Biden on Friday signed an executive order allowing the Treasury and State Departments to impose sanctions against Ethiopian officials "responsible for, or complicit in, prolonging the conflict" in the Tigray region.

Driving the news: Hundreds of thousands of people are facing famine conditions in Tigray, but less than 10 percent of the needed humanitarian supplies has reached the region over the last month "due to the obstruction of aid access" by the Ethiopian government, according to Biden administration officials.