Tags: gop | mcconnell | impeachment | trump | senate

GOP Senators: McConnell Will Move to Acquit Trump, Not Dismiss Charges

GOP Senators: McConnell Will Move to Acquit Trump, Not Dismiss Charges
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 12 December 2019 09:16 AM

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to allow an impeachment trial against President Donald Trump to go ahead, calling a vote to acquit him after proceedings have run their course rather than seeking to immediately dismiss the charges, some Republican senators say.

Acquittal, rather than a procedural vote to dismiss the articles of impeachment, would definitively clear the president of the charges raised against him by Democrats and expected to be approved by the House of Representatives.

It would "make more sense" to vote on the articles of impeachment than it would to simply dismiss them, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told CNN.

Dismissal requires a simple 51-vote majority, and such a vote could end in a tie, with "all the recriminations that would flow from that," Cornyn added

According to the Constitution, it would take 67 votes in the Senate to convict Trump and remove him from office, a threshold that is unlikely to be reached.

A second Republican senator, speaking to CNN on condition of anonymity, said McConnell, R-Ky., will not call a vote to move on the articles of impeachment unless he's certain he has at least 51 votes lined up to end the trial. 

McConnell can't count on the vote of Vice President Mike Pence to break a tie. Pence, as president of the Senate, has the mandate to break ties on legislation and nomination, but can't vote in an impeachment proceeding, according to a GOP legislative aide, because he'd be replacing Trump if he was removed from office. 

Senate Republicans, according to The Washington Post, say they favor a short, limited trial with no witnesses followed by a quick vote to acquit the president. Under this plan, the trial would be held early next year, the Post reports.

McConnell hinted at the acquittal strategy to reporters Tuesday, when he said the Senate has two choices after it hears opening arguments from the House and Trump's defense counsel. 

Many Senate Republicans say they trust McConnell's judgment in this matter, Axios reported Thursday.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to allow an impeachment trial against President Donald Trump to go ahead, calling a vote to acquit him after proceedings have run their course rather than seeking to immediately dismiss the charges...
gop, mcconnell, impeachment, trump, senate
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2019-16-12
Thursday, 12 December 2019 09:16 AM
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