Senate

McConnell makes case for Trump acquittal ahead of trial

Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday ripped House Democrats and made the case for the upper chamber acquitting President Trump 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 Pelosi (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 Schumer is impartial? Do you think [Sen.] Elizabeth Warren is impartial? [Sen.] Bernie Sanders 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. 

Tags Bernie Sanders Chuck Schumer Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Impeachment impeachment managers Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi Senate trial

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