Ex-Virginia governor: Trump could 'rob a bank' and Senate wouldn't convict him

Ex-Virginia governor: Trump could 'rob a bank' and Senate wouldn't convict him
© Greg Nash

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) said there's no way the Republican-controlled Senate would impeach President Trump even if House Democrats started an inquiry. 

"The issue for Democrats is, are we going to spend all our time talking about impeachment, which we know they can't get him in the Senate?" McAuliffe said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"I mean, he could rob a bank and the Senate would not convict him. It doesn't matter," he added.


McAuliffe made the remarks after host Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddMurkowski: Supreme Court nominee should not be taken up before election Republican senator says plans to confirm justice before election 'completely consistent with the precedent' Sunday shows - Trump team defends coronavirus response MORE asked him if a voter might swing from a Democratic candidate to Trump because Democrats launch impeachment proceedings.

McAuliffe answered, "Absolutely not." But he then set out the case for why it would not make sense to launch an impeachment inquiry in the House. He said Democrats would be better off talking about other issues, including health care, infrastructure and the ways Trump has stoked racial divisions. 

Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, agreed with McAuliffe that impeachment could backfire on Democrats.
"I think Pelosi's instinct's been right to stop this, try to stand in the way of this from the beginning," he said, referring to Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiAirline industry applauds Democrats for including aid in coronavirus relief package Democrats unveil scaled-down .2T coronavirus relief package Trump tax reveal roils presidential race MORE's (D-Calif.) opposition to launching an inquiry.
"Why would they focus on the one thing that doesn't have majority support and has supermajority support against it?" he added.
It would take a majority vote in the House to impeach Trump. A Senate conviction would require 67 votes. Democrats hold just 47 seats in the Senate.