McConnell: Senate will hold impeachment trial

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate panel deadlocks in vote on sweeping elections bill Senate descends into hours-long fight over elections bill Republican governor of Arkansas says 'Trump is dividing our party' MORE (R-Ky.) said on Wednesday that the Senate will hold an impeachment trial if the House votes to impeach President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger, Gaetz get in back-and-forth on Twitter over Cheney vote READ: Liz Cheney's speech on the House floor Cheney in defiant floor speech: Trump on 'crusade to undermine our democracy' 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.


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 BidenKinzinger, Gaetz get in back-and-forth on Twitter over Cheney vote Cheney in defiant floor speech: Trump on 'crusade to undermine our democracy' US officials testify on domestic terrorism in wake of Capitol attack 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."