GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he isn’t sure about convicting Donald Trump and is rejecting Democrat’s call for an expedited impeachment process.
Trump may end up staying in the White House for the remainder of his presidency if McConnell doesn’t get his act together. On Wednesday, McConnell told Senate Democrat Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s aides that he would not be bringing the Senate back in to start the process of impeaching Donald Trump.
According to someone close to the matter, McConnell also sent a note to Republican senators letting them know that the chamber will not reopen until January 19. If McConnell chooses not to move forward, impeachment may not start until the first days of President-elect Joe Biden’s presidency, CNN reports.
“Given the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents that govern presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week,” said McConnell in a statement following the House’s vote to impeach Trump. Trump is on the chopping block of impeachment after he incited the violence at the U.S. Capitol last week. McConnell has said he believes impeaching Trump would be the best way to remove his association with the party.
In his note about impeaching Trump, he told fellow GOP members that “while the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate.”
Aside from encouraging domestic terrorism, McConnell has a bone to pick with Trump and Republicans over their inability to keep two Georgia Senate seats, which will keep the GOP in the minority Senate for the next two years. McConnell noted that the impeachment process would not begin until Biden becomes president. “The Senate trial would therefore begin after President Trump’s term has expired,” the memo states.
However, Schumer says waiting so long to impeach Trump is not ideal. He wants McConnell to invoke emergency authority and act now. “A Senate trial can begin immediately, with agreement from the current Senate Majority Leader to reconvene the Senate for an emergency session, or it will begin after January 19th. But make no mistake, there will be an impeachment trial in the United States Senate; there will be a vote on convicting the president for high crimes and misdemeanors; and if the president is convicted, there will be a vote on barring him from running again,” said Schumer in a statement following the impeachment vote.