SPONSORED:

McConnell has said he thinks Trump committed impeachable offenses: report

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHumanist Report host criticizes 'conservative Democrats:' They 'hold more power' than progressives Dobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' Biden's Cabinet gradually confirmed by Senate MORE (R-Ky.) has said he thinks President TrumpDonald TrumpBlinken holds first calls as Biden's secretary of State Senators discussing Trump censure resolution Dobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' 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 BidenDobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' Should deficits matter any more? Biden's Cabinet gradually confirmed by Senate MORE’s win.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 PerdueState-level Republicans wracked by division after Trump's loss Suburbs pose challenge for GOP in post-Trump era Democrats swear in three senators to gain majority MORE and Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerState-level Republicans wracked by division after Trump's loss Limbaugh falsely says Biden didn't win legitimately while reacting to inauguration Suburbs pose challenge for GOP in post-Trump era MORE lost to their Democratic challengers Jon OssoffJon OssoffDobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' Republicans plan voting overhauls after Biden's win Refreshing the tree of liberty MORE and Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockDobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' Republicans plan voting overhauls after Biden's win Refreshing the tree of liberty MORE, giving Democrats a slim majority in the upper chamber with Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisSen. Patrick Leahy returns home after being hospitalized What the shift in Senate control means for marijuana policy reform Vice President Harris receives second dose of COVID-19 vaccine MORE's tie-breaking vote. 

ADVERTISEMENT

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 McCarthyFormer lawmakers call on leadership to focus on unity Cheney spokesperson on Gaetz: 'In Wyoming, the men don't wear make-up' Biden attends first church service as president in DC, stops at local bagel shop 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.