McConnell: Senate will hold impeachment trial

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSanders is a risk, not a winner Buttigieg sounds alarm after Sanders wins Nevada Where do we go from here? Conservation can show the way MORE (R-Ky.) said on Wednesday that the Senate will hold an impeachment trial if the House votes to impeach President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again.' Poll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden More than 6 in 10 expect Trump to be reelected: poll MORE.

"Under the impeachment rules of the Senate, we'll take the matter up. The chief justice will be in the chair ... We intend to do our constitutional responsibility," he said.

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McConnell noted that, under Senate rules during an impeachment trial, the chamber would have to convene on most days and that "senators will not be allowed to speak, which will be good therapy for a number of them."

McConnell had previously indicated that he would have "no choice" but to take up impeachment if the House passes articles, though he has also ran a Facebook ad over the recent two-week recess positioning himself and the GOP-controlled Senate as a roadblock to Trump being removed from office.

He has not indicated how long an impeachment trial would last, and GOP senators have predicted that if the House passes it along largely party lines it would be dispensed with quickly in the Senate.

A GOP Senate leadership aide noted last month that under Senate rules a motion to dismiss the articles of impeachment would be allowed.

McConnell has lashed out repeatedly this week at the House impeachment inquiry, which is focused on Trump asking Ukraine to look into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenButtigieg campaign claims 'irregularities' in Nevada caucuses Poll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden More than 6 in 10 expect Trump to be reelected: poll MORE and his son Hunter Biden.

McConnell sidestepped a question on Wednesday about whether or not it was appropriate for Trump to ask a foreign government to investigate a political rival.

"Look this matter is being looked at in the House," he added. "They're denying due process. ... At least it seems to be if they're going to go forward providing fundamental fairness and due process is appropriate."