Trump says House Democrats 'unfortunately' have the votes to impeach

President TrumpDonald John TrumpButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Kavanaugh hailed by conservative gathering in first public speech since confirmation MORE on Friday said he believes House Democrats have the votes to impeach him, but expressed confidence that he would be exonerated in the Senate and Republicans would benefit at the polls.

Trump told reporters that he expected House Democrats to fall in line in support of his impeachment. The House is in the middle of an impeachment inquiry centered on allegations that Trump abused his office for personal gain by urging foreign leaders to investigate a political rival.

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"They're all in line. Because even though many of them don’t want to vote, they have no choice. They have to follow their leadership," Trump said outside the White House. "And then we'll get it to the Senate, and we're going to win."

"So the Democrats, unfortunately, they have the votes," he added. "They can vote very easily, even though most of them, many of them, don’t believe they should do it. And I do believe ... that they're going to pay a tremendous price at the polls."

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump knocks testimony from 'Never Trumpers' at Louisiana rally Jordan calls Pelosi accusing Trump of bribery 'ridiculous' USMCA deal close, but not 'imminent,' Democrats say MORE (D-Calif.) last week announced the House had launched a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump based on his urging the Ukrainian president to look into Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses GOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California MORE.

The House has spent the last 10 days interviewing witnesses and pressing the White House for documents as part of its probe, while Trump's allies dismiss their efforts as political theater.

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse Johnson opens door to subpoenaing whistleblower, Schiff, Bidens Overnight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families MORE (R-S.C.), a close ally of Trump’s, argued Friday that Democrats should have to go on the record about their efforts to investigate Trump.

A simple majority of House members must vote in favor of an article of impeachment for the president to be impeached.

Democrats hold a 235-197 advantage in the House. To date, 226 Democratic lawmakers plus Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashWhat are Republicans going to do after Donald Trump leaves office? Trump allies assail impeachment on process while House Democrats promise open hearings soon Hoyer: We are going to move as fast 'as the facts and truth dictate' on open hearings MORE (I-Mich.) have voiced support for an impeachment inquiry or for impeachment.

Two-thirds of senators must vote to convict Trump for him to be removed from office, meaning roughly 20 Republicans would have to side against the president.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellKavanaugh hailed by conservative gathering in first public speech since confirmation Overnight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families On The Money: Trump appeals to Supreme Court to keep tax returns from NY prosecutors | Pelosi says deal on new NAFTA 'imminent' | Mnuchin downplays shutdown threat | Trump hits Fed after Walmart boasts strong earnings MORE (R-Ky.) said this week he is obligated to do conduct a trial, and has indicated he will do so quickly if Trump is impeached in the House.

“I would have no choice but to take it up,” McConnell told CNBC on Monday.