McConnell Says Senate Will Take on Impeachment if it Passes House “I Would Have No Choice”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said during a CNBC interview he will “have no choice” but to hold a trial in the Senate on removing the President if the House successfully passes impeachment.

218 Members of the House of Representatives are needed to impeach and then two thirds (or 67) members of the United States Senate to convict and remove.

Most pundits currently believe the scenario in which a Republican led Senate chooses to actually convict President Trump would be highly unlikely.

However, a few outliers have suggested it’s possible.

George Conway, husband of Kellyanne Conway agreed with the assessment of Tony Schwartz that there is a “reasonable chance” Senators could turn on Trump because they “privately hate him.”

Former Senator and Trump nemesis Jeff Flake said he believes at least 35 Republican Senators would vote to impeach Trump if the vote was held in secret, which it would not be.

Yahoo reports Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that if the House impeaches President Trump he will “have no choice” but to hold a trial in the Senate and a vote on removing the president from office.

His comments in an interview with CNBC confirm the position he took in an interview with NPR in March, and the conclusion of a Senate staff memo that was obtained by HuffPost.

“Under the Senate rules we’re required to take it up if the House does go down that path, and we’ll follow the Senate rules,” McConnell said Monday. “It’s a Senate rule related to impeachment that would take 67 votes to change, so I would have no choice but to take it up. How long you’re on it is a whole different matter, but I would have no choice but to take it up based on a Senate rule on impeachment.”

Even before the House began work on impeachment, speculation surfaced that McConnell could simply stall the process when and if it reached the Senate, possibly using the same rationale that he used to bury President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court in 2016: that with a new election looming, the voters should have a “voice” in the process. The Senate majority leader, who exercises virtually unchallenged power to determine what comes to the floor for a vote, has also been unilaterally holding up consideration of hundreds of bills passed by the House this year, including a widely supported measure on background checks for gun purchasers.

The Constitution gives the Senate the power to try the president if he is impeached by the House, but it does not set a timetable for the process.

This article was written by the staff of 

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