McConnell makes case for Trump acquittal ahead of trial

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate Democrats say White House isn't budging in coronavirus relief stalemate MORE (R-Ky.) on Wednesday ripped House Democrats and made the case for the upper chamber acquitting President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Bob Woodward book will include details of 25 personal letters between Trump and Kim Jong Un On The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Biden commemorates anniversary of Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' rally: 'We are in a battle for the soul of our nation' 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.

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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 PelosiOn The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Bass on filling Harris's Senate spot: 'I'll keep all my options open' Win by QAnon believer creates new headaches for House GOP 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 SchumerChuck SchumerLawmakers push Trump to restore full funding for National Guards responding to pandemic Bipartisan senators ask congressional leadership to extend census deadline Lawmakers of color urge Democratic leadership to protect underserved communities in coronavirus talks MORE is impartial? Do you think [Sen.] Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenNew poll shows Markey with wide lead over Kennedy in Massachusetts Trump and allies grapple with how to target Harris Chris Wallace: Kamala Harris 'not far to the left despite what Republicans are gonna try to say' MORE is impartial? [Sen.] Bernie SandersBernie SandersOcasio-Cortez's 2nd grade teacher tells her 'you've got this' ahead of DNC speech Trump and allies grapple with how to target Harris Chris Wallace: Kamala Harris 'not far to the left despite what Republicans are gonna try to say' 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.