Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters that the Senate would have “no choice” but to take up articles of impeachment against Donald Trump if the House approved the measure. The Kentucky Republican said that Congressional rules would force his hand when it comes to impeachment.
“Well, under the Senate rules we’re required to take it up if the House does go down that path and we’ll follow the Senate rules,” McConnell said, according to The Hill.
He reiterated that the Senate rules demand that he take impeachment up.
Democrats have been pushing for an inquiry into the president’s conversation with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in July in which he is accused of pressuring the Ukrainian leader into investigating Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
If the House approves articles of impeachment, it would head to the Senate for trial, but many expect McConnell and Senate Republicans to acquit the president.
Last week, before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she would do so, McConnell was asked what the Senate would do if the House took up articles of impeachment against the president. The Kentucky Republican declined to weigh in on the situation at that time.
“I’m not going to address all of these various hypotheticals that have been aired out about what may or may not happen in the House, and I think all of that’s quite premature,” he said.
He has since clarified to Senate employees in a memo that the Senate would be required to take action if the House passes impeachment, as The Inquisitr previously reported. The memo dictates that Senate members can’t attempt to stymie the process.
Mitch McConnell says that if impeachment passes the House they would have to take it up in the Senate. pic.twitter.com/5eN9ZG1sf1
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) September 30, 2019
“There is no way we could somehow bar the doors and prevent the managers from presenting the articles (to the Senate). The rules of impeachment are clear on this point,” an aide said.
That doesn’t mean that a Senate impeachment trial would be long. McConnell said that how long the Senate must try the president isn’t dictated by Senate rules. The aide added that dismissing the articles of impeachment is also an option under current rules.
Impeachment requires two steps in Congress. The first is that a majority of Representatives in the House must pass articles of impeachment. Then a trial must take place in the Senate, after which a vote will be held. Two-thirds of Senators must vote to remove the president from office at that point.