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.