McConnell makes case for Trump acquittal ahead of trial

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session Manchin 'can't imagine' supporting change to filibuster for voting rights Biden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet MORE (R-Ky.) on Wednesday ripped House Democrats and made the case for the upper chamber acquitting President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session Gosar's siblings pen op-ed urging for his resignation: 'You are immune to shame' Sunday shows - Delta variant, infrastructure dominate 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.


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 PelosiManchin on reported boos at Democratic luncheon: 'I heard a lot of nos' Kinzinger supports Jan. 6 panel subpoenas for Republicans, including McCarthy Ocasio-Cortez: Democrats can't blame GOP for end of eviction moratorium 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 SchumerManchin on reported boos at Democratic luncheon: 'I heard a lot of nos' Wisconsin GOP quietly prepares Ron Johnson backup plans Senate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session MORE is impartial? Do you think [Sen.] Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenCalifornia Democrats warn of low turnout in recall election Pelosi disputes Biden's power to forgive student loans Warren hits the airwaves for Newsom ahead of recall election MORE is impartial? [Sen.] Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session Bipartisan infrastructure win shows Democrats must continue working across the aisle 'The land is us' — Tribal activist turns from Keystone XL to Line 3 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.