McConnell: Senate Has 2 Choices on Impeachment; Hold a Trial or Proceed to a Quick Vote

By Susan Jones | December 12, 2019 | 6:53am EST
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell discusses the way forward on impeachment on Dec. 10, 2019. (Photo: Screen capture)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell discusses the way forward on impeachment on Dec. 10, 2019. (Photo: Screen capture)

( - As the House Judiciary Committee moves closer to voting on two articles of impeachment against President Trump, Senate Republicans are mulling "two choices," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Wednesday.

So here's what I would anticipate. The House managers would come over, make their arguments; the president's lawyers would then respond, and at that point, the Senate has two choices.

It could go down the path of calling witnesses and basically having another trial; or it could decide -- and again, 51 members could make that decision -- that they have heard enough and believe they know what would happen and could move to vote on the two articles of impeachment sent over to us by the House.

Those are the options. No decisions have been made yet. They'll be made later.

McConnell said Republicans "will make that decision after we have heard the opening arguments."

McConnell previously said he would be "surprised" if 67 senators voted to remove the president. "That remains my view," he said on Wednesday. "However, we are obligated under the Constitution to turn to it when it comes over, and we will."

McConnell told reporters he has not yet discussed the anticipated Senate proceedings with Democrat leaders, but he does plan to do so:

"We will be talking about the way to go forward and see if we can reach an agreement," he said. "What I was outlining earlier is what I think makes obvious sense, you hear from both sides, and then you make the decision that you continue to want me to answer. We don't have an answer yet as to which direction you take. I can't imagine that wouldn't be his (Schumer's) view as well, but no, we have not sat down and tried to work out a procedure yet."

A reporter asked McConnell if he has set a date in January for the Senate to return.

"We'll let you have a date as soon as we have it, but you know it will be--it will be--you are wondering when you have to come back, right?" McConnell smiled. "It'll be--it will be right around the time the bowl games end. So how about that?"


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