Washington – Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday rejected a Democrat’s bid to quickly call the Senate into an emergency session for a session President Donald Trump impeachment trial, With the assurance that these measures will not take place until after Trump leaves office.
The decision came even after a Republican strategist said that a Kentucky Republican told people he believed Trump had committed impeachment crimes. The strategist, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the private conversations, said McConnell also sees the Democrats’ campaign in the House of Representatives to impeach Trump as a suitable moment to distance the Republican Party from the outgoing, troubled and divisive president.
McConnell’s displeasure with Trump matters because with the inauguration of the most powerful Republican in Washington, Joe Biden, one day, his opinion may make it easier for other Republican lawmakers to turn on the outgoing president. The New York Times first published McConnell’s view on Tuesday.
The Senate is currently in recess and is not scheduled to return to session until January 19, the day before Biden was inaugurated. By law, the Senate could be called back for an emergency session if the party leaders, McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, DNY, agreed to do so.
Schumer called an emergency meeting of the Senate so that he could remove Trump from office before his term expires, citing unpredictable potential problems Trump might cause.
A spokesman for McConnell confirmed on Wednesday that McConnell aides had informed Schumer’s office that McConnell would not agree to an emergency hearing. The spokesman did not provide any explanation for McConnell’s reasoning.
On Wednesday, the Democratic-led House of Representatives was heading towards a certain approval Accountability article accuses Trump of inciting disobedienceIt was an unprecedented second trial of his tumultuous presidency. Trump urged a crowd of his followers to march through the Capitol on Wednesday, as they disrupted formal congressional certification of Biden winning in riots that killed five people.
The Republican strategist said McConnell has not said whether he will vote to convict Trump when the Senate holds an impeachment trial. Nonetheless, McConnell’s thinking – and the certainty that a modest but significant number of Republicans in the House of Representatives were willing to vote to impeach Trump – underscored how the reflexive Republican Party’s longstanding support and tolerance for his actions was eroding.
Last weekend, McConnell spoke to major Republican donors to assess their thinking about Trump, and were told they believed Trump had clearly crossed the line, the strategist said. According to the advisor, McConnell told them he was finished with Trump.
McConnell looks to his party’s long-term future, but the short-term political pain for Republican senators is palpable, according to a Republican aide who declined to be identified to discuss the situation. The aide described the Senate vote to remove Trump as a great danger to Republican senators, as many of them are almost certain to face challenges in the Republican primaries.
It’s unclear how many Republicans will vote to convict Trump in a Senate trial, but it seems plausible that many of them will. So far, the Republican Senator from Alaska, Lisa Murkowski, has said she wants Trump’s resignation, and Senator Ben Sassi, a Republican from NEP, has said he will “definitely consider” articles impeaching the House of Representatives.
Complicating Republican thinking about Trump’s second trial is the fact that Republicans will defend 20 of the 34 Senate seats in the 2022 election. Thanks to Democrats ’victories this month in two rounds of Georgia, the Democrats are on the verge of controlling the room by 50 by 50. With Vice President-elect Kamala Harris casting the tie votes.
Speaking against the impeachment on Wednesday was Senator Lindsay Graham, RS. Graham, who was a bitter enemy of Trump once, became one of his closest allies during his presidency, then criticized him about the Capitol invasion last week, but he’s spent time with Trump since then.
In a statement, Graham said that removing Trump now would “do great damage to government institutions and could lead to more violence.” He said millions of Trump supporters “should not be demonized because of the despicable acts of sedition mobs.” He did not specifically defend Trump’s actions last week.
“If there has ever been a time for political leaders in America to bend their knees and seek God’s advice and guidance, now is the time.” Graham said, “The most important thing leaders should do in times of crisis is to make things better, not bad.”
When the Senate voted against impeachment of Trump in February after the House of Representatives accused him of pressuring Ukraine to deliver political dirt to Biden, Senator Mitt Romney, from Utah, was the only Republican to vote to oust him.
As the House of Representatives convenes to discuss impeachment measures on Wednesday, the Capitol has become increasingly like a heavily defended complex, as law enforcement agencies prepare for the possibility of further attacks by Trump’s armed supporters. The Capitol and the adjacent office buildings were surrounded by a seven-foot-high fence and the Armed National Guard patrolled their grounds.
Trump falsely insisted that the presidential election in November was fraudulently stolen from him. These allegations have been dismissed by state officials from both parties, state and federal courts, and members of his administration.
Associated Press Congressional correspondent Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.
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