Congress

McConnell Confirms He Must Take Up Impeachment

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Impeachment is a lengthy process and it may not work its way through the House of Representatives before the end of the year, but it will reach the Senate at some point and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will have to take it up when it does.

McConnell confirmed as much during an appearance on CNBC today.

“I would have no choice but to take it up,” the Kentucky Republican told CNBC. “How long you are on it is a different matter, but I would have no choice but to take it up based on a Senate rule on impeachment.” [...]

If the House impeaches, the Republican-held Senate would then hold a trial on whether to convict Trump and remove him from office. Despite the current lack of support for the inquiry among Senate Republicans, McConnell said the chamber by rule would have no choice but to follow through with the process.

Current Senate rules dictate that McConnell bring impeachment to the floor and changing the rules would require 67 votes -- which he doesn't have -- meaning McConnell will have no choice.

With that said, McConnell also implied that he wouldn't spend much time on it, but that's no surprise.

I don't think anyone expects that a two-thirds majority of the Senate will vote to remove Trump from office, but at least a handful of Republican senators will face election year pressure to vote against Trump. Some Senate Republicans will be forced to weigh the value of going against their base of registered Republicans versus the value of appearing independent.

That won't be an easy decision for all of them and it will improve Democratic chances of retaking control of the Senate.

It's obviously not enough to convict him, but all but maybe one or two Senate Democrats will vote against Trump when the time comes. And I for one will not attack the likes of Joe Manchin for voting in Trump's favor because keeping him in the Senate (instead of another Republican) is more important than a symbolic vote.

  • Draxiar

    At the end of the day Moscow Mitch wants to save his precious turtle neck. If that means pulling an 86 on 45 he’ll do that. While I greatly dislike the man, Moscow Mitch is a smart guy and I think he knows that trump would throw him away like restaurant scrap if it benefitted him to do so.

  • muselet

    It’s far too early to worry about vote tallies. The House hasn’t really begun its impeachment inquiries, let alone drawn up articles of impeachment. By the time impeachment is seriously considered, Donald Trump may have choked on a mouthful of Original Recipe and President Michael Richard Pence declared Talibangelical Christianity the official state religion.

    It is fun to watch Mitch McConnell squirm a little bit, though. He really doesn’t want to deal with an impeachment trial, in large part because his voters would blame him for not shutting it down from the get-go.

    –alopecia

    • waspuppet

      He would shut it down from the get-go. He’ll schedule the vote for about an hour after the House passes articles.

      • muselet

        Understood.

        However, I get the feeling Mitch McConnell’s voters will be enraged that he even considered holding an impeachment trial at all. He doesn’t have any choice in the matter; they don’t care.

        –alopecia