McConnell makes case for Trump acquittal ahead of trial

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCoronavirus pushes GOP's Biden-Burisma probe to back burner Struggling states warn coronavirus stimulus falls short Hillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike MORE (R-Ky.) on Wednesday ripped House Democrats and made the case for the upper chamber acquitting President TrumpDonald John TrumpWith VP pick, Biden can't play small ball in a long ball world Coronavirus hits defense contractor jobs Wake up America, your country doesn't value your life MORE as he waits for the articles of impeachment to be transmitted.

McConnell, speaking from the Senate floor, did not directly call for senators to vote to acquit Trump but argued that senators cannot follow the House's lead and agree that the president deserves to be impeached and ultimately removed from office.

"Speaker Pelosi and the House have taken our nation down a dangerous road. If the Senate blesses this unprecedented and dangerous House process by agreeing that an incomplete case and subjective basis are enough to impeach a president, we will almost guarantee the impeachment of every future president," McConnell said.

ADVERTISEMENT

He added that the House impeachment inquiry was "the kind of anti-democratic recall measure that the founding fathers explicitly, explicitly did not want."

McConnell's comments come as House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSunday shows preview: Lawmakers, state governors talk coronavirus, stimulus package and resources as pandemic rages on Attacking the Affordable Care Act in the time of COVID-19 DC argues it is shortchanged by coronavirus relief bill MORE (D-Calif.) named the House impeachment managers on Wednesday. The House is scheduled to vote later Wednesday to formally appoint the managers, who will make the House's case during the Senate trial, and transmit the articles to the Senate.

Senators are expected to be sworn in this week with the trial getting underway as soon as Tuesday, when the chamber will debate a rules resolution and start opening arguments.

With 67 votes needed to convict Trump, his acquittal at the end of the weeks-long trial is all but guaranteed.

But McConnell has come under criticism for pledging to be in “total coordination” with the White House.

"Do you think [Senate Minority Leader] Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTexas man arrested for allegedly threatening Democrats over coronavirus bill Pelosi not invited by Trump to White House coronavirus relief bill's signing COVID-19, Bill Barr and the American authoritarian tradition MORE is impartial? Do you think [Sen.] Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Democratic Senators urge FTC to prevent coronavirus price gouging Democratic senators call on FDA to drop restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men MORE is impartial? [Sen.] Bernie SandersBernie SandersWith VP pick, Biden can't play small ball in a long ball world Poll: Trump, Biden in dead heat in 2020 matchup Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers, state governors talk coronavirus, stimulus package and resources as pandemic rages on MORE is impartial? So let's quit the charade. This is a political exercise. ... All I'm asking of Schumer is that we treat Trump the same way we treated [President] Clinton," McConnell said last month. Warren (D-Mass.) and Sanders (I-Vt.) are currently running for the Democratic presidential nomination.