McConnell tells GOP Senate to prepare for impeachment trial
Nancy Pelosi may have decided to hold off on a House impeachment vote for now, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell isn’t leaving anything to change. He just told Republicans in the Senate to prepare to defend the President of the United States against an attempt to remove him from office as early as this fall, according to reports.
In a weekly closed-door luncheon, McConnell warned Republicans that time is short.
‘‘There’s sort of a planned expectation that it would be sometime around Thanksgiving, so you’d have basically Thanksgiving to Christmas — which would be wonderful because there’s no deadline in the world like the next break to motivate senators,’’ said Senator Kevin Cramer, a Republican.
During the trial, the Senate would work as many as six days per week to expedite things along.
Some senators present, including Lindsey Graham, wanted a signed letter from Republican Senators saying that the president’s conduct was unimpeachable. But since some senators would not sign such a letter, it could be taken as a sign by Democrats and the media that they should proceed with their impeachment attempt because some Republicans are persuadable — even though, it would seem, most are simply posturing and aren’t actually considering voting for removal from office.
Two things are clear from this luncheon: first, Republicans are rallying around Donald Trump. Despite some publicly critical comments, senators are not going to vote to remove the President from office. Absent some other piece of evidence, that simply is not on the table. And Democrats know this.
Secondly, Pelosi is playing games. By not authorizing an official impeachment inquiry, she is avoiding an embarrassing loss. But she is allowing Schiff and others to continue secret, underground interviews with witnesses in the hope that they can muddy up Trump enough to find the votes and make him the third president ever to be impeached — even though the Senate would likely not remove him.
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