Mitch McConnell says if Trump impeached Senate would hold trial

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday said the Senate would be required to hold a trial if President Donald Trump is impeached in the House.

Technically, the Constitution does not require the Senate to hold a trial if a president is impeached, but McConnell told CNBC that Senate rules would leave him with “no choice” but to move forward with one.

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“Under the Senate rules, we’re required to take it up if the House does go down that path, and we’ll follow the Senate rules,” McConnell said. “It’s a Senate rule related to impeachment that would take 67 votes to change, so I would have no choice but to take it up. How long you’re on it is a whole different matter, but I would have no choice but to take it up, based on a Senate rule on impeachment.”

The Kentucky Republican’s remarks came less than a week after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump in relation to an escalating scandal regarding a whistleblower complaint linked to a July 25 phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

McConnell in March said the Senate would launch a trial if impeachment occurred, but this was his first comment on this matter since the impeachment inquiry began.

Only two presidents in US history — Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton — have been impeached and both were acquitted in the Senate.


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