In an interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News on Thursday night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he was inclined to coordinate the defense of President Donald Trump with the White House’s lawyers. He told Hannity that there was a probability of “zero” that Trump would be removed from office via a Senate conviction.
“The case is so darn weak coming over from the House. We all know how it’s going to end,” McConnell said. “There is no chance the president is going to be removed from office.”
From Fox News:
McConnell also said he hoped that none of the members of his caucus would vote to remove the president from office, adding “it wouldn’t surprise me if we got one or two Democrats” to vote to acquit Trump of the charges of high crimes and misdemeanors.
He explained that the articles of impeachment would be different from ordinary legislation that makes its way from the House, in that: “We have no choice but to take it up. But we’ll be working through this process hopefully in a fairly short period of time, in total coordination with the White House counsel’s office and the people who are representing the president, in the way all of the Senate.”
McConnell spoke as the House Judiciary Committee prepared to vote to send two articles of impeachment to the full House of Representatives following a marathon hearing in which seemingly no topic – from Hunter Biden’s rampant drug use to a Republican congressman’s past drunken-driving arrest – was off-limits.
McConnell emphasized that he was hopeful that the Senate trial would be a quick process leading to decisive acquittal. This could put him in conflict with the White House, in addition to a certain segment of House Republicans who want to see their counterparts in the Senate put on a fireworks display. The president’s defenders want to see McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham call Joe and Hunter Biden, Adam Schiff, and the Ukraine whistleblower to testify in front of the American public. They want to see the Senate turn this impeachment trial back on the Democrats.
Unfortunately, McConnell and Graham seem to want this off their plate as soon as possible, and they are unlikely to drag this process through the dirt. The important thing, yes, is making sure that Pelosi’s impeachment charges are defeated. But crushing the Democrats and their sham case is only slightly less essential. With several Democrats talking about impeaching Trump again after his reelection, the importance of showing the public what a baseless witch hunt this is only grows.