Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that if the House impeaches President Donald Trump the Senate will have no choice but to hold a trial.
"I would have no choice but to take it up," McConnell said in an interview with CNBC.
Here's Mitch McConnell on CNBC saying that if the House passes articles of impeachment, "under the Senate rules we're required to take it up ... I would have no choice but to take it up. How long we're on it is a whole different matter." pic.twitter.com/lTVQHZrGxS— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 30, 2019
As Common Dreams has reported, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) decided last week to open an official impeachment inquiry into the president's attempts to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter's employment with Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian oil company. A phone call between the two leaders, and the subsequent cover-up attempt, forced Pelosi to open the inquiry.
If the president is impeached, the next step is a trial in the McConnell-controlled Senate. The Kentucky Republican, whose pushing of the boundaries of the Senate's rules has made him an ur-villain for progressives, added in the CNBC interview that while he would have no choice but to put Trump on trial, the mechanics of the trial—including time—were still undetermined.
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"How long you are on it is a different matter," said McConnell.
That imprecise answer spurred HuffPost reporter Igor Bobic to question how much time, exactly, McConnell would give impeachment in the Senate.
"How long do you think McConnell would give it," wondered Bobic. "A week?"
Given the majority leader's status on the left, a number of progressives took that to mean McConnell could be planning some machinations intended to rescue the president from removal from office.
"Would there even be a trial?" mused Faiz Shakir, campaign manager for the 2020 presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).