Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told reporters on Tuesday that the Senate would acquit President Trump if the impeachment trial were held today.
House Democrats voted to pass the partisan impeachment inquiry resolution last week.
No Republican voted in favor of the measure, and two Democrats – Reps. Van Drew (D-NJ) and Collin Peterson (D-MN) – voted alongside the GOP.
The resolution outlined the rules and procedures moving forward but did not, despite popular belief, authorize the inquiry itself. Republicans have said that Democrats deliberately skipped a crucial step in the impeachment process, adding that the resolution does not adequately satisfy their demands for transparency, giving Democrats, such as House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-NY) and House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), unprecedented power.
However, transcripts from Schiff’s secret impeachment proceedings have been trickling out, and they have yet to demonstrate any such quid pro quo, as Democrats suspected.
McConnell spoke to reporters on Tuesday and signaled that if the impeachment trial were held today, “it would not lead to a removal.”
“I will say I’m pretty sure how it’s likely to end,” McConnell told reporters. “If it were today, I don’t think there’s any question — it would not lead to a removal.”
“So the question is how long does the Senate want to take? How long do the presidential candidates want to be here on the floor of the Senate instead of in Iowa and New Hampshire?” he asked.
The Republican leader made it clear that he is not going to comment regularly on the ongoing developments in the House – a tactic he has exercised since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) formal announcement of the inquiry.
“I’m not going to comment sort of on a routine daily basis on all that’s breaking surrounding this story over in the House,” McConnell stated.
“At some point, it looks to me like they’re going to send it over to the Senate,” he continued. “As you all know that means we have to take it up.”
McConnell on Tuesday blasted Democrats in a tweetstorm for neglecting their legislative duties to “pursue their three-year-old impeachment obsession”