Politics

GOP Leader Mitch McConnell May Acquit Trump on Impeachment Charges

Even before a new report came out on this subject, the Republican senator himself hinted this might be the approach he uses

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) plans to acquit President Donald Trump in the Senate should the House of Representatives move on impeachment.

CNN reports that two Republican senators — John Cornyn of Texas is one; the other is anonymous — have said McConnell will push for a vote to acquit the president, rather than one to simply dismiss the charges.

Related: Dems Announce Two Articles of Impeachment

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McConnell is reportedly seeking to vote on acquittal to clear President Trump of charges brought against him by the House Democrats — 67 votes are required for conviction — rather than “simply rely[ing] on a 51-vote threshold procedural motion to dismiss the hotly disputed case.”

The Republican senator himself has hinted this might be the approach he uses.

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“It could go down the path of calling witnesses and basically having another trial or it could decide — and again, 51 members could make that decision — that they’ve heard enough and believe they know what would happen and could move to vote on the two articles of impeachment,” he said.

He emphasized that no final decisions have been made yet.

Related: Impeachment Debate in House Judiciary Goes for the Jugular

The notion that an acquittal could be forthcoming, however, makes the entire effort to remove President Trump dead on arrival.

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Imagine going through with this entire impeachment sham, losing public support and boosting President Trump’s poll numbers in the process, only to have McConnell squash the whole affair the moment it arrives in the Senate.

That’s assuming it even gets that far.

The Washington Post is reporting that House Democrats are already bracing for some defections from moderate party members seeking re-election in districts that President Trump won in 2016.

“Lawmakers and senior aides are privately predicting they will lose more than the two Democrats who opposed the impeachment inquiry rules package in late September,” The Post writes, citing multiple anonymous sources.

Democrats could afford to lose 17 votes and still vote in the affirmative for impeachment.

One of the sources indicates that as many as 6 could defect, while the other source said the number might be higher.

Backfiring on Dems. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.) warned last month that his colleagues were privately concerned over impeachment proceedings and simply want to “move on.”

Recent polls showing the president surging in battleground states as a direct result of the impeachment hearings are likely making them even more apprehensive.

McConnell’s potential effort to simply acquit the president is in defiance of Rep. Maxine Waters’ (D-Calif.) demands that he “better not” proceed without thoroughly considering the Democrats’ arguments.

“The American people want to have the Senate do what the Constitution says they must do and hold a trial,” Waters alleged. “They are acting as the jury, should be acting as the jury. We’ll have information to put before them and they better not try to sweep it under the rug.”

McConnell doesn’t seem phased.

This piece originally appeared on ThePoliticalInsider.com and is used by permission.

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