Mitch McConnell Privately Says He Wants Trump Impeached As Republicans Lobby Him To Convict
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has privately said he ‘wants Trump gone’, according to a member of Congress.
Former president Donald Trump was impeached by the House once again January 13, this time for incitement on insurrection in the US Capitol riots earlier this month.
With Democrats now in control of both the House and Senate, Trump’s impeachment trial is due sometime soon. According to sources in Congress, McConnell is looking to detach from Trump.
McConnell, who didn’t attend Trump’s farewell ceremony, reportedly told a member of Congress that he ‘wants Trump gone’, as reported by CNN. They added: ‘It is in his political interest to have him gone. It is in the GOP interest to have him gone. The question is, do we get there?’
While Democrats hold the majority in the Senate, they would still require the votes of 17 Republican senators to convict Trump with a two-thirds majority.
While he can’t be removed from office, as he’s already gone, a successful trial would allow a vote on barring Trump from ever holding federal office again, which would require only a simple majority. The articles of impeachment will be sent to the Senate on Monday, January 25.
In an earlier statement, McConnell said he didn’t want to rush into an impeachment trial, particularly as the Republicans need two weeks to prepare. There’s also concerns it could impede progress on the Biden administration’s moves, whether it’s confirming nominees or putting forward legislation off the back of the president’s executive orders.
McConnell said: ‘At this time of strong political passions, Senate Republicans believe it is absolutely imperative that we do not allow a half-baked process to short-circuit the due process that former President Trump deserves or damage the Senate or the presidency.’
McConnell has huge influence in the GOP, and he hasn’t shied away from criticising Trump in the wake of the Capitol siege. He earlier told the Senate: ‘The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people.’
He added: ‘And they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like. But we pressed on.’
While some outspoken Republicans say they’re still loyal to Trump, sources inside the party believe there’s an appetite to convict. Charlie Dent, a former Republican congressman, said: ‘There were 10 House Republicans who voted for impeachment. There were probably over 150 who supported it.’
Another GOP official said: ‘I hope Mitch’s institutional reverence for the Senate will overcome his natural political caution and will lead him to the conclusion that Trump is in the way of the party’s future.’
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