Report: Memo from McConnell indicates Senate fight over impeachment could be left to Schumer

Supporters of President Donald Trump have just been given another reason to be unhappy with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Rather than trying to thwart Democrats’ hopes of impeaching and removing Trump over what they say is his role in inciting the violence that transpired at the hands of his supporters at the Capitol on Wednesday, the Washington Examiner reports that McConnell seems to be handing the issue off to his replacement: incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

Mitch passes the buck

According to the Examiner, the Senate is currently in recess, and a source said the Republican leader doesn’t plan to reconvene the body for official business until originally scheduled on Tuesday, Jan. 19 — just a day before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

In fact, a memo distributed by McConnell last week and later obtained by The Washington Post indicates it’d be nearly impossible to do so. “Although the Senate will hold two pro forma sessions next week, on Jan. 12 and Jan. 15, it is barred from conducting any kind of business during those days,” the Post reported.

McConnell explained in his memo that “[i]t would require the consent of all 100 Senators to conduct any business of any kind during the scheduled pro forma sessions prior to January 19, and therefore the consent of all 100 Senators to begin acting on any articles of impeachment during those sessions,” a situation the Post characterized as “highly unlikely,” even after the Georgia runoff elections that left Dems and the GOP tied in the Senate 50–50.

If a vote in the upper chamber came down to it, the vice president would break a tie.

With Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris set to take office on Jan. 20, granting Democrats control of the Senate, and a delay until then apparently inevitable, at least according to McConnell, it’s probably going to be soon-to-be Majority Leader Schumer who gets the chance to move forward on any impeachment articles passed by the House, the Washington Examiner reports.

Dems try again at impeachment

Democrat Reps. David Cicilline (RI), Ted Lieu (CA), and Jamie Raskin (MD) are expected to file articles of impeachment against President Trump in the lower chamber as early as Monday, according to Breitbart.

In their resolution, the lawmakers accuse the president of engaging in “high Crimes and Misdemeanors by willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States.”

“Shortly before the Joint Session commenced [to certify the Electoral College votes], President Trump addressed a crowd of his political supporters nearby,” the Democrats charge. “There, he reiterated false claims that ‘we won this election, and we won it by a landslide.’ He also willfully made statements that encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — imminent lawless action at the Capitol.”

But try as they might, it’s hard to imagine Dems will succeed in their second formal attempt to remove the president from office, even if they can get enough Republicans to join in their effort. The clock is ticking, and as the Washington Examiner notes, “[t]he post-office impeachment and conviction is legally questionable.”

“Some believe it is constitutional to impeach a president after office and ban him from future office,” the Examiner‘s Susan Ferrechio explained Friday. “Others say it’s not clear whether that can be done.”

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