Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Told his GOP colleagues in a note Wednesday afternoon that he was reluctant to vote on whether he would vote to convict the president in his upcoming impeachment trial.
“While the press is full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to hear legal arguments when I appear before the Senate,” McConnell said.
Just being open to being convicted for voting is important for McConnell, who characterized Trump’s first impeachment as a political exercise with “zero opportunity” to remove the president.
On Wednesday, 10 House Republicans voted to impeach the president as the House approved a single article of impeachment against Trump, “provoking him to rebellion” for his role in the pro-storm crowd at US Tritol last week. Charged. He is the first president to impeach twice.
On Tuesday afternoon, Rep. Liz Cheney of the third-ranked Republic of Wyoming in the House announced that she would vote to impeach Trump.
Cheney said in a statement, “There has never been a greater betrayal than his office as President of the United States and his oath to the Constitution.”
Cheney’s comments followed a New York Times report that McConnell believed Trump had committed impeachment offenses and that impeachment efforts would “make it easier for Trump to be purged of the GOP”.
McConnell said last week that the earliest the Senate could take the article would be January 19, unless all 100 senators agreed to return early.
Trump oversaw the impeachment proceedings from the Oval Office, an administration official told NBC News on Wednesday. There has been outreach between the White House and Republican leadership, but the official has not given specific details.
“As much as possible, we are focusing on the transition, highlighting the success of the last four years and continuing the work of the government,” the official told NBC News.
The official said he had “minor concerns”, with the Senate blaming the president on the news that McConnell was personally supportive, and expressed that the scenario was unlikely.
This official accepts this impeachment, due to riots in the Capitol, “much more personal to some of these members than a phone call to the President of Ukraine.”
Kristen Welker and Peter Alexander has contributed.