Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) put forth on Tuesday that he does not think there is any way that the Senate will get the two-thirds votes needed to remove President Donald Trump from office in the likely event that he is impeached by the House of Representatives.
“I will repeat what I’ve said in the past,” McConnell told reporters during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol. “It’s inconceivable to me that there would be 67 votes to remove the president from office.”
“A number of Democratic senators are running for president. I’m sure they are going to be excited to be here in their chairs, not being able to say anything during the pendency of this trial,” he continued. “So, hopefully, we’ll work our way through it and finish it in not too lengthy a process.”
Sen. Mitch McConnell: "It's inconceivable to me that it would be 67 votes to remove the president from office." pic.twitter.com/KeSKGWzhW7
— The Hill (@thehill) November 19, 2019
Six Senate Democrats who are vying for the party’s nomination to the presidency are likely to be anchored in Washington D.C. to oversee an impeachment trial during the height of early state campaign season. The Iowa caucus is schedule for the first week in February and McConnell has stated that he believes the House will be working on the impeachment inquiry through Christmas.
Despite the shifting impeachment allegations and confusion on which high crime or misdemeanor that the president is being accused of, House Democrats have vowed to move forward with hearings, and have subsequently followed through on that pledge.
“It’s way too early to scope out or announce how we might handle impeachment when it gets to the Senate,” McConnell said. “We’re all having ‘what if’ discussions, but I think just laying out various hypotheticals now is not helpful.”
“The House is going to do what the House is going to do,” he continued. “And when they get through, as you know, it comes over here, displaces all the business, and we’ll be on it until the senators decide it’s time to reach a conclusion.”
The Kentucky lawmaker made similar remarks only a day earlier while speaking with local reporters in the bluegrass state.
“It looks to me like the House is going to be on this until Christmas, then it comes over to the Senate. It displaces all other business,” he said at the time. “I don’t know how long senators will want to continue the trial, but I’m pretty confident that in the end impeachment will not lead to ouster.”
While noting that he “can’t imagine a scenario” in which Senate Democrats rally enough support across the aisle to kick Trump out of office, he did highlight his uncertainty on the length of a potential trial. McConnell further criticized House Democrats for their “Trump derangement syndrome” and slammed the caucus for wasting Congress’s time with impeachment hearings rather than undertaking important legislative business.
The Republican leader has made it clear that he will not try to block a trial in the Senate if Trump is ultimately impeached by the House.
“I don’t think there’s any question that we have to take up the matter,” McConnell said last week. “The rules of impeachment are very clear, we’ll have to have a trial. My own view is that we should give people the opportunity to put the case on.”