Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) stand back to back in the House Chamber during a joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

'Fascist-Enabling Coward': McConnell Declines to Reconvene Senate for Trial as House Moves to Impeach Trump

"Regardless of what he leaks to the press, McConnell remains Trump's 'Enabler-in-Chief.'"

Jake Johnson

Just before the House was set to vote Wednesday on an article of impeachment charging President Donald Trump with inciting insurrection, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly made clear that he will not reconvene the Senate for a trial this week, a decision that ensures the proceedings will be pushed back until after President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

The Wall Street Journal reported that McConnell's team called the office of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) Wednesday to say that the majority leader "wouldn't reconvene the Senate early to accept an article of impeachment." The Senate is officially set to return on January 19, a day before Biden's inauguration.

"So McConnell will allow Trump to stay in office, issue as many crazy pardons as he likes, and control our military for another seven days."
—Alex Kotch, Exposed by CMD

"McConnell remains a fascist-enabling coward," tweeted progressive strategist Murshed Zaheed, who slammed the corporate media for giving the Kentucky Republican favorable press over his private support for impeaching Trump. McConnell has not publicly said whether he supports impeachment.

"As always, watch what he does not what he says (lies)," Zaheed added.

As Common Dreams reported earlier Wednesday, progressives demanded that McConnell demonstrate his support for Trump's impeachment by agreeing to reconvene the Senate for a trial immediately following the House's expected approval and transmission of the article of impeachment as early as Wednesday afternoon.

"McConnell must move to start an immediate trial in the Senate," Rahna Epting, executive director of advocacy group MoveOn, said in a statement late Tuesday. "We know the forces that attacked the Capitol last week are planning more attacks. We cannot afford to wait one more minute. Every moment Donald Trump is in the White House our nation is put in further danger."

Schumer, for his part, called on McConnell to use a 2004 law "that allows the Senate minority leader and majority leader to jointly reconvene the Senate in times of emergency."

"This is a time of emergency," Schumer said Tuesday. "I've asked him to call the Senate back. All he needs is my agreement—I'm still minority leader—and his agreement, he's majority leader. We could come back ASAP and vote to convict Donald Trump and get him out of office now before any further damage is done."

McConnell's refusal to reconvene the Senate during the final days of the current administration—and his final days as majority leader—further muddies the timeline for an impeachment trial. According to the Washington Post, Biden is currently exploring options to "simultaneously hold a trial of the president and pass urgently needed bills," including coronavirus relief, after he takes office next week.

Meanwhile, some conservatives—including former federal appeals court judge J. Michael Luttig—are claiming that it would be unconstitutional for the Senate to hold an impeachment trial against Trump after he leaves office, an argument that other experts have forcefully rejected. One reason to convict Trump after he leaves office, as commentators have noted, would be the possibility of barring him from holding office again in the future.

"So McConnell will allow Trump to stay in office, issue as many crazy pardons as he likes, and control our military for another seven days," tweeted Alex Kotch, an investigative reporter at Exposed by CMD. "Regardless of what he leaks to the press, McConnell remains Trump's 'Enabler-in-Chief.'"


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Progressives Counter Cherry-Picked Quotes With MLK's True Legacy

Calling out those who have "weaponized" his words "to justify legislated white supremacy," Rep. Ayanna Pressley said King "was a radical dreamer with a bold vision for revolutionary change."

Jessica Corbett ·


'No Celebration Without Legislation': King Family Leads Voting Rights March

"I will not accept empty promises in pursuit of my father's dream," said Martin Luther King III.

Andrea Germanos ·


Lawmakers Seek to Weaken Ban on Surprise Medical Bills

According to new reporting, the effort to rein in price-gouging is facing pushback from Democratic and Republican members of Congress alike.

Kenny Stancil ·


Billionaires 'Had a Terrific Pandemic' While Inequality Killed Millions: Oxfam

A new report explains how inequality contributed to the death of 21,000 people each day of the pandemic while the wealthiest collectively got $1.2 billion richer every 24 hours.

Jon Queally ·


Biden Urged to Fire Covid Response Chief Over 'Damning' Failures

"Zients has failed to provide the materials necessary to improve the U.S. response, or the guidance necessary to keep the pandemic under control," argued one critic.

Jake Johnson ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo