All eyes are on the Senate as House Democrats officially move towards impeaching President Donald Trump — but happily for the White House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has Trump’s back.
The Senate Republican leader told Fox News host Sean Hannity that there is “no chance” Trump gets removed from office in an expected Senate trial. “The case is so darn weak coming over from the House. We all know how it’s going to end,” McConnell told Hannity. “There is no chance the president is going to be removed from office.”
McConnell expected to acquit Trump
After almost three months of investigations and hearings, Democrats finally voted to begin authorizing articles of impeachment Friday morning.
Following months and even years of wild accusations of Russian collusion, obstructing the Russian probe, and “bribing” Ukraine, Democrats on the Judiciary Committee charged Trump with abusing his power and obstructing their investigation.
The strictly partisan committee vote, with all Democrats voting for impeachment and all Republicans voting against, sets the stage for a full House vote next week, with a Senate trial possible by January. With impeachment now certain, all that matters now is how Republicans in the Senate vote.
Two Republican senators told CNN Wednesday that McConnell would not dismiss the charges outright, but take them up in a trial. McConnell himself confirmed the same to Hannity but made it clear that he expects no outcome other than Trump’s acquittal.
“We have no choice but to take it up. But we’ll be working through this process hopefully in a fairly short period of time, in total coordination with the White House counsel’s office and the people who are representing the president, in the way all of the Senate,” he told Hannity, making it clear that he thinks Trump will be acquitted.
Dems cry foul over McConnell’s role
The impeachment vote Friday came after days of partisan bickering in Nadler’s committee that carried on into the late evening Thursday. A wild, hours-long hearing touched on Hunter Biden’s cocaine habit and other sordid matters before ending in anti-climax as Nadler called off an expected vote, telling lawmakers to return with a clear conscience the next morning.
The party-line vote reflects a deep divide over Trump’s impeachment nationwide — one that will surely deepen as Democrats press forward — but it’s also a good sign for Trump, as all the Republicans came to his defense. Impeachment in the House and acquittal in the Senate has always been the expected outcome, and with 20 Republican defections needed to convict Trump in the Senate, the president should be safe.
Meanwhile, Democrats are in an uproar over McConnell’s comments about coordination, with many suggesting that McConnell will “rig” the trial — just the latest Democrat complaint about McConnell, who they have labeled “Moscow Mitch” and other demeaning epithets for his support of the president.
McConnell has been widely reviled on the left for his brand of political hardball, especially after he blocked a Supreme Court nominee of President Barack Obama’s only to lead a successful drive to confirm Trump’s nominee, Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
“My hope is that it will be a shorter process rather than a long, lengthy process,” he said of the impeachment.