Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment against Trump on Tuesday, accusing him of abusing his office for personal political gain and all but guaranteeing he becomes just the third president in the nation’s history to be impeached.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) knocked House Democrats on Wednesday, accusing them of rushing to a vote on impeaching President Trump.
“Yesterday, House Democrats announced they would rush ahead and prepare to send the articles of impeachment based on the least thorough and most unfair impeachment inquiry in modern history,” McConnell said from the Senate floor.
He added that if the House “continues this destructive road” the Senate is prepared to hold a trial after this month.
“If the House continues this destructive road and sends us articles of impeachment, the Senate will take them up in the New Year and proceed to a fair trial,” McConnell said.
House Democrats are bringing two charges against Trump over his dealings with Ukraine: that he abused the power of his office by pressing a foreign power to open an investigation into a political rival, and that he obstructed Congress by refusing to comply with the impeachment inquiry.
The House is expected to hold a full vote on the floor as soon as next week. However, McConnell has maintained that the Senate won’t proceed to a trial until January, and he has given few hints about what a Senate trial would like.
Pressed during a press conference on Tuesday, the GOP leader declined to say if he thought Trump’s legal team or House Democrats should call witnesses, or how they would be handled. Republicans are considering skipping witnesses in an effort to avoid a drawn-out process with politically tough votes.
McConnell reiterated on Tuesday that he did not expect the Senate to reach the two-thirds support necessary to convict Trump. Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate, meaning that 20 Republicans would have to join Democrats to remove Trump from office.
“I said I would be totally surprised if there were 67 senators who would remove the president. That remains my view. However, we are obligated under the Constitution to turn to it when it comes over, and we will,” McConnell said.