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McConnell has said he thinks Trump committed impeachable offenses: report

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden says Beau's assessment of first 100 days would be 'Be who you are' McConnell says he's 'great admirer' of Liz Cheney but mum on her removal McConnell: 'Good chance' of deal with Biden on infrastructure MORE (R-Ky.) has said he thinks President TrumpDonald TrumpWarren says Republican party 'eating itself and it is discovering that the meal is poisonous' More than 75 Asian, LGBTQ groups oppose anti-Asian crime bill McConnell says he's 'great admirer' of Liz Cheney but mum on her removal MORE has committed impeachable offenses following the violent attacks on the Capitol building last week, The New York Times reported Tuesday. 

The reported comments from the majority leader come as Republicans grapple with how to respond to Democratic impeachment efforts and the fallout from the deadly Capitol riots last week. Five people died as a result of the events at the Capitol, including a Capitol Police officer that served on the force for 12 years. 

Trump is under scrutiny for encouraging his supporters before the attacks last Wednesday to march to the Capitol “to show strength” and “fight like hell” in opposition to the Electoral College count. He had previously requested his supporters come to D.C. to protest on the day Congress was slated to certify President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says Beau's assessment of first 100 days would be 'Be who you are' Biden: McCarthy's support of Cheney ouster is 'above my pay grade' Conservative group sues over prioritization of women, minorities for restaurant aid MORE’s win.

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Citing people familiar with his thinking, the Times reported that McConnell is pleased that Democrats are pushing to impeach Trump in his final days, saying he thinks it’ll make it easier for the Republican Party to distance itself from the president. 

According to the Times, McConnell has said he wants to examine the language of the article of impeachment the House plans to pass Wednesday against Trump, which alleges that the president incited violence against the U.S. government.

The effort is expected to receive support from about a dozen Republicans after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol and breached security, broke windows, vandalized offices and forced lawmakers to evacuate into undisclosed locations to hide from the rioters.

The Senate majority leader has indicated in private conversations that impeachment gives the GOP an opportunity to part from Trump, who McConnell credits with losing the Senate for Republicans.

In runoff elections in Georgia earlier this month, Republicans David PerdueDavid PerdueGeorgia Republican secretary of state hits Loeffler as 'weak,' 'fake Trumper' Warnock raises nearly M since January victory Georgia's top election official looks to shake political drama MORE and Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerGeorgia Republican secretary of state hits Loeffler as 'weak,' 'fake Trumper' Loeffler asks Georgia attorney general to investigate Raffensperger over 2020 election Former Rep. Doug Collins won't enter Georgia Senate race MORE lost to their Democratic challengers Jon OssoffJon OssoffSenate panel deadlocks in vote on sweeping elections bill Senate descends into hours-long fight over elections bill Georgia senators introduce measure allowing voters to have access to water while waiting MORE and Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockGeorgia senators introduce measure allowing voters to have access to water while waiting Cruz outspending other senators on Facebook ads: report Democrats cool on Crist's latest bid for Florida governor MORE, giving Democrats a slim majority in the upper chamber with Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisMcConnell: 'Good chance' of deal with Biden on infrastructure Democrat Nikki Fried teases possible challenge to DeSantis Pavlich: The border crisis Biden said we could afford MORE's tie-breaking vote. 

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Officials briefed on the conversation told the Times that Biden called McConnell to ask whether the Senate could work to confirm his Cabinet at the same time as a Senate impeachment trial. McConnell reportedly told Biden he’d ask the Senate parliamentarian and get back shortly. 

David Popp, a spokesman for McConnell, declined to comment to the Times, instead citing the leader’s speech on the floor on the day of the Capitol raid. 

The Hill has reached out to McConnell's office for comment. 

“This failed attempt to obstruct the Congress, this failed insurrection, only underscores how crucial the task before us is for our Republic,” McConnell said last Wednesday. “Our nation was founded precisely so that the free choice of the American people is what shapes our self-government and determines the destiny of our nation.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyWarren says Republican party 'eating itself and it is discovering that the meal is poisonous' Biden: McCarthy's support of Cheney ouster is 'above my pay grade' On The Money: Inflation jumps at fastest pace since 2008 | Biden 'encouraged' on bipartisan infrastructure deal MORE (R-Calif.) has asked other Republicans whether he should urge the president to resign after last week’s events, three Republican officials briefed on the conversations told the newspaper. 

McCarthy has also privately considered impeachment before arriving at his current position against impeachment but open to a censure. 

Trump on Tuesday said his speech at the demonstration before the riots was “totally appropriate” in remarks to reporters.