Two senators came forward with information that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is likely planning to hold a vote to acquit President Trump if impeachment makes it to the Senate.
CNN reported that “Republicans want to have a vote on acquittal — to clear the President of the charges against him — not simply rely on a 51-vote threshold procedural motion to dismiss the hotly disputed case.”
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) told CNN that it would “make more sense” to vote on the actual impeachment articles rather than to dismiss impeachment outright.
The CNN report asserted that “one of the senators, speaking anonymously, said McConnell would not call a vote on a motion to proceed to the impeachment articles unless he knew he had the 51 votes needed to end the trial, which would then set up a final vote on the articles themselves.”
McConnell himself has not indicated his plans either way but appears to be weighing the options. McConnell told reporters this week:
It could go down the path of calling witnesses and basically having another trial or it could decide — and again, 51 members could make that decision — that they’ve heard enough and believe they know what would happen and could move to vote on the two articles of impeachment. Those are the options. No decisions have been made yet.
On Friday, the House Judiciary Committee voted to advance the two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — to a full House vote, bringing impeachment one step closer to the Senate.
In preparation for a Senate impeachment, some are already calling for Sen. McConnell to recuse himself, with Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) leading the charge, saying “McConnell should recuse himself” due to his announcement that “everything I do during this [impeachment] I’m coordinating with the White House counsel.”