Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell‘s role in the impeachment probe has been under scrutiny following the House’s approval of two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump. McConnell recently said he would be working with the White House counsel during the Senate trial, which led to Florida Representative Val Demings calling for the 77-year-old politician to recuse himself from the trial, claiming that his presence would violate the U.S. constitution.
Just a day following his controversial comments, McConnell was pressed about his planned coordination with the White House, Raw Story reports.
“You told Sean Hannity last night you were coordinating with the White House when it comes to impeachment. Why is that appropriate?” he was asked in a clip shared by MSNBC.
“It was done in the Clinton impeachment as well,” McConnell replied.
“Not surprisingly, President Clinton and the Democrats in the Senate were coordinating their strategy. We’re on the same side.”
Per The National Post, the upcoming Senate trial will put Trump and McConnell’s relationship to the test, as the president — who the publication notes is used to acting on his own will — will be in McConnell’s domain. Although Trump has reportedly expressed a desire for an extended trial to allow him to craft a narrative that spotlights purported Democratic corruption and election interference, it’s unclear if McConnell will agree.
According to White House spokesman Hogan Gidley, the decision ultimately falls into the hands of the Republican-led Senate.
“It’s up to the Senate to decide how they move forward with some of this, but the president has also been clear: he wants witnesses out there because he wants his side of the story told. They didn’t allow us to do this on the House side.”
WATCH: Senate Republicans took an oath to act as impartial jurors, yet Mitch McConnell admits that they will be working "in total coordination" with the White House for Trump's impeachment trial. pic.twitter.com/ng59dCNjag
— DNC War Room (@DNCWarRoom) December 13, 2019
Before the House produced articles of impeachment, White House Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland said that the administration was in “close communication” with Senate Republicans to plan for the possibility of a trial and suggested that such tight conversation will continue as the process moves forward.
McConnell previously assured that there would be “no difference” between the position of Trump and the Senate.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham echoed McConnell. During a talk with CNN at the Doha Forum in Qatar, Graham said he would attempt to ensure the trial ends as soon as possible. When pressed on whether such comments were appropriate, Graham claimed to have no interest in pretending that he would be a neutral or fair player in the impeachment trial.