UPDATE POSTED 5:10 P.M. WEDNESDAY, JAN. 13, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTVQ) Following the House vote late Wednesday afternoon to impeach President Doonald Trump, Republican Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement saying the Senate and President-elect Joe Biden will focus first on Biden’s inauguration and then the impeachment trial.
The delay also may allow for more information to come out concerning the riot on the Capitol that led to the impeachment.
McConnell’s statement regarding the Senate schedule:
“The House of Representatives has voted to impeach the President. The Senate process will now begin at our first regular meeting following receipt of the article from the House.
“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. The Senate has held three presidential impeachment trials. They have lasted 83 days, 37 days, and 21 days respectively.
“Even if the Senate process were to begin this week and move promptly, no final verdict would be reached until after President Trump had left office. This is not a decision I am making; it is a fact. The President-elect himself stated last week that his inauguration on January 20 is the ‘quickest’ path for any change in the occupant of the presidency.
“In light of this reality, I believe it will best serve our nation if Congress and the executive branch spend the next seven days completely focused on facilitating a safe inauguration and an orderly transfer of power to the incoming Biden Administration. I am grateful to the offices and institutions within the Capitol that are working around the clock, alongside federal and local law enforcement, to prepare for a safe and successful inauguration at the Capitol next Wednesday,” McConnell concluded.
UPDATE, POSTED 2:45 P.M. WEDNESDAY, JAN. 13, 2021
In a statement Wednesday afternoon, Kentucky Republican and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell told the media and fellow senators: “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.”
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated that he believes that impeaching President Donald Trump will make it easier to get rid of the President and Trumpism from the Republican Party, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.
Another person with direct knowledge told CNN there’s a reason McConnell has been silent on impeachment as other Republicans have pushed back: he’s furious about last week’s attack on the US Capitol by the President’s supporters, even more so that Trump has shown no contrition.
His silence has been deliberate as he leaves open the option of supporting impeachment.
McConnell has made no commitments on voting to convict Trump, and wants to see the article itself before voting. It’s a stark contrast to the President’s first impeachment, when McConnell repeatedly spoke out against Democratic intentions to hold Trump accountable for a pressure campaign on the Ukrainian government to investigate Joe Biden and his family.
McConnell has been steadily moving his conference away from Trump for weeks. While he knows they all aren’t there with him, the Kentucky Republican believes the party needs to turn the page.
Several GOP sources said on Tuesday that if McConnell supports conviction, Trump almost certainly will be convicted by 67 senators in the impeachment trial.
“If Mitch is a yes, he’s done,” said one Senate GOP source who asked not to be named.
Many Republican senators are staying quiet about whether they’ll back conviction — a sign that they, too, could support conviction in an effort to rid Trump from their party.
The New York Times was first to report
on McConnell’s thoughts about impeachment.
The President is not going to resign even if his party abandons him, sources told CNN.
After four House Republicans said they would vote to impeach the President, a source close to Trump said there is “no consideration of him resigning.”
Another senior White House adviser said, “Resignation means admitting failure. So, no.”
This adviser said the current thinking is the Senate does not have enough time to convict Trump before he leaves office, so the President can make it to the end of his term without that kind of humiliation.
“We will get through the 20th and move on,” the adviser said.
The relationship between the Senate majority leader and the President — the two most powerful men in the Republican Party — has essentially collapsed, multiple sources told CNN.
A source familiar with the relationship between the two men told CNN that McConnell is furious with Trump. The source said McConnell “hates” Trump for what he did last week following the attacks on the Capitol that left at least five people dead including a Capitol Hill police officer.
Trump and McConnell still have not spoken since last Wednesday’s riot, a separate source familiar with the matter confirmed to CNN. Another source said the two men haven’t spoken since McConnell’s floor speech acknowledging Biden as President-elect in December.
McConnell couldn’t get Trump on the phone when he refused to sign the stimulus bill over the Christmas week, a third source told CNN. McConnell has since told others in the wake of the stimulus circus he won’t talk to Trump again.
McConnell is also speaking with the President-elect about how the chamber should handle an impeachment trial against Trump.
Biden is not trying to stop the impeachment proceedings, but he is trying to keep them from consuming his agenda and overshadowing the early days of his presidency. CNN has learned Biden called McConnell on Monday to discuss the possibility of “bifurcation” — doing impeachment proceedings alongside confirming his nominees and approving a sweeping Covid relief package.
The two men spoke frankly about a potential impeachment trial for Trump, people familiar with the call said, as both of them noted it would be far different from the trial they sat through in 1999 for then-President Bill Clinton.
McConnell told Biden that the Senate parliamentarian would have to rule whether the Senate could work on legislative business other than impeachment, people familiar with the call said, adding that McConnell did not offer his own view.
Biden raised this idea publicly on Monday as he received his second Covid-19 vaccine, saying he had been speaking with lawmakers. He did not reveal that McConnell was among them.
The New York Times first reported the Biden-McConnell call.