McConnell: Senate will hold impeachment trial

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by UANI — House Dems charge Trump with abuse, obstruction of Congress in impeachment articles Senate must take up Voting Rights Advancement Act without delay Krystal Ball: Is this how Bernie Sanders will break the establishment? MORE (R-Ky.) said on Wednesday that the Senate will hold an impeachment trial if the House votes to impeach President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders urges impeachment trial 'quickly' in the Senate US sending 20,000 troops to Europe for largest exercises since Cold War Barr criticizes FBI, says it's possible agents acted in 'bad faith' in Trump probe 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 BidenThe media have fallen out of love with Bernie, but have voters? Top Zelensky aide refutes Sondland testimony The great AI debate: What candidates are (finally) saying about artificial intelligence 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."