McConnell: Impeachment 'Is Whatever a Majority of the House Decides It Is...'

Susan Jones | October 30, 2019 | 7:47am EDT
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) (Photo: Screen capture)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) (Photo: Screen capture)

( - "Do you view the House impeachment inquiry as illegitimate?" a reporters asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at his news conference on Tuesday.

McConnell did not directly answer the legitimacy question, except to say that an impeachable offense is whatever the House wants it to be:

Well, look, impeachment, as a practical matter, is whatever a majority of the House decides it is at any given moment.

And it appears that the Democrats, emboldened by the new majority they've had this year, have been on this path for three years. The first headline I saw--I think it was in the Washington Post before the president was sworn in was that the impeachment process was beginning.

So, this is just further evidence that this is what they had in mind from the very beginning.

McConnell said he'd wait to see if the House impeachment inquiry can meet "fundamental due process standards" and see where they go from there. "I think the vote that they're now going to have to open the impeachment inquiry will be very interesting. Will all the Democrats vote for it?" he asked.

"We're watching what happens in the House and we'll see whether they actually open this impeachment inquiry. Apparently, they're going to vote on it later this week. It's going to be a very interesting vote," McConnell said.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, told a news conference on Tuesday that "the overwhelming majority of the House Democratic Caucus are publically on record supporting the impeachment inquiry."

Jeffries said every member will have to follow their conscience when the House on Thursday takes up the resolution affirming the impeachment inquiry and setting up rules.

As for the impeachable offense, Jeffries was vague:


"This is about the United States Constitution," he said. "This is about the rule of law. This is about national security. This is about abuse of power. This is about the fact that the president betrayed his oath of office and the American people. And also undermined the integrity of our elections by soliciting foreign interference in the 2020 election.

"The evidence of wrongdoing is hiding in plain sight. But, we will continue to proceed in a serious and solemn fashion. The time table and the votes that we take will be dictated by the facts and the truth and nothing else."

In his phone call with the newly elected Ukraine president on July 25, President Trump asked Zelensky to "do us a favor" that involved Ukraine's role in the Trump-Russia investigation. The "favor" had nothing to do with Joe Biden or his son Hunter.

Later in the conversation -- after Zelensky mentioned Rudy Giuliani and assured Trump that "all investigations will be openly and candidly" -- Trump said:

Good because I heard you had a  prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that's really  unfair. A  lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved.

Mr. Giuliani is  a  highly respected man. He  was the mayor bf  New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I  will ask him to  call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what's happening and he  is  a  very capable guy. If  you could speak to  him  that would be  great. The former ambassador from the United $tates, the woman,  was bad news and the people she was dealing  with in the Ukraine were bad news, so  I just want to let you know  that.

The other thing, There's a  lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution  and a  lot of  people want to  find out about that  so whatever you can do  with the Attorney General would be  great.Biden went around bragging that he  stopped the prosecution so  if you can look into it ...  It  sounds horrible to  me.


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