McConnell Plans To Rush Impeachment Trial, Deliver Quick Acquittal
“I don’t think the appetite is real high for turning this into a prolonged spectacle.”
Senate Majority Leader and Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell is planning on having a quick acquittal of President Donald Trump if and when impeachment gets to the Senate.
The impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives has been a Democrat affair with, it appears, no Republicans prepared to get on board.
It appears that it will play the same way in the Senate as the votes should come on Party lines with Sen. McConnell looking to rush the acquittal.
“It could go down the path of calling witnesses and basically having another trial or it could decide — and again, 51 members could make that decision — that they’ve heard enough and believe they know what would happen and could move to vote on the two articles of impeachment,” Sen. McConnell said on Tuesday. “Those are the options. No decisions have been made yet.”
Acquittal With No Witnesses
The Kentucky senator is planning to hold a vote to acquit the president and not have any witnesses testify, CNN reported on Thursday.
The Senate leader will hold a final acquittal vote, rather than dismissing the impeachment, when a majority of Senators believe the trial is done.
Republicans have decided that they want to have an acquittal vote to clear President Donald Trump of the charges against him rather than having a simple 51 majority vote to dismiss it.
It would take 67 votes in the Senate to convict the president and, with Republicans holding the majority, that threshold is highly unlikely in today’s partisan politics.
Vice President Mike Pence, who serves as a tie breaker vote on every other issue in the Senate, will not have a role in the impeachment trial. The vice president cannot have a role as he would be next in line for the presidency if President Trump was removed.
It will be the job of Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, regarded as a conservative, to preside over the impeachment trial.
President Trump has expressed a desire to create a show of the impeachment trial and have a vigorous defense with witnesses called. But Republicans are not on board with that idea and wants the trial over as quickly as possible, The Washington Post reported.
Getting It Done
“I would say I don’t think the appetite is real high for turning this into a prolonged spectacle,” Senate Majority Whip, and South Dakota Sen. John Thune said in an interview with The Post.
“Members want to deal with the arguments, hear the case and hopefully reach a conclusion,” he said.
Republicans in the House and Senate have expressed their belief that the impeachment of the president is a “sham,” a thought that Democrats are likely to have of the Senate trial if the president gets a quick acquittal.
But that is not affecting Senate Republicans, the majority of whom think that the entire thing has gone on too long.
“I think he’s indicated that he would like to get this over with and get to quite a few other matters that we can get done,” Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts said. “In other words, get back to business.”
No matter how it happens, it is likely that the president will be impeached in a highly partisan fashion and likely that he will be acquitted in a highly partisan fashion bringing Americans no closer together than before it began.