McConnell: We’ll see if Pelosi’s impeachment resolution ‘passes the smell test’ | TheHill – The Hill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMurkowski, Collins say they won’t co-sponsor Graham’s impeachment resolution Senate rejects Paul effort to cut spending Overnight Defense: Latest on al-Baghdadi’s death | Trump weighs releasing raid video | Pentagon reveals 2 suspects captured in raid | House to vote on impeachment procedures | Border wall fight stalls defense bill MORE (R-Ky.) said Tuesday he has not decided whether to hold a floor vote on a resolution condemning the House impeachment process, adding that he is waiting to see the Democrats’ plan for proceeding with the inquiry.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiJudge schedules hearing for ex-Trump aide who refused to appear in inquiry Murkowski, Collins say they won’t co-sponsor Graham’s impeachment resolution Pelosi calls for Congress to pass resolution supporting two-state solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict MORE (D-Calif.) is slated to outline her plan for proceeding on impeachment later Tuesday. It is expected to include a vote to formally launch the process and give Republicans and President TrumpDonald John TrumpJudge schedules hearing for ex-Trump aide who refused to appear in inquiry READ: Army officer to tell investigators he twice reported concerns over Trump’s Ukraine dealings Murkowski, Collins say they won’t co-sponsor Graham’s impeachment resolution MORE‘s legal team more power to participate.

“We’ll have to take a look at what the House produces later today and see if it passes the smell test of providing the kind of due process protections that the president and his team are certainly entitled to, just like President Nixon was and President Clinton was,” McConnell told reporters.

A separate Senate GOP resolution condemning the House impeachment process has 50 Republican co-sponsors, including McConnell. Three GOP senators — Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMurkowski, Collins say they won’t co-sponsor Graham’s impeachment resolution Overnight Health Care: Walden won’t seek reelection | Senate Dems to vote this week to overturn Trump ObamaCare moves | Largest children’s migrant shelter to close | Vulnerable Republicans balk at drug pricing bill Senate Democrats to vote this week to overturn Trump ObamaCare moves MORE (Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiMurkowski, Collins say they won’t co-sponsor Graham’s impeachment resolution McConnell blasts impeachment inquiry as ‘kangaroo court’ in fundraising pitch Romney, Collins, Murkowski only Senate GOP holdouts on Graham’s impeachment resolution MORE (Alaska) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyMurkowski, Collins say they won’t co-sponsor Graham’s impeachment resolution Trump Jr. sending copies of ‘Triggered’ book to Romney, top Democrats Romney: About half of constituents in town halls said I’m being too tough on Trump MORE (Utah) — have not signed on, meaning Vice President Pence might have to cast the tiebreaking vote if the resolution comes to the floor.

McConnell was noncommittal when asked if the Senate will vote on that measure.

“We haven’t made a decision on that yet,” McConnell told reporters, adding that “the next step” will be “to take a look and see whether the House is now going” to “try to handle this in a more transparent way that meets basic standards of due process that every American would be entitled to.”

Asked if he viewed the House impeachment inquiry as illegitimate, McConnell responded, “Impeachment, as a practical matter, is whatever a majority of the House decides it is at any given moment.”

McConnell was pressed by reporters on how Republicans can consider themselves impartial jurors in a Senate trial considering articles of impeachment passed by the House if they back a resolution condemning the House process.

“The resolution is about due process,” McConnell responded, saying it was “critical” in pressuring Pelosi and House Democrats to promise a formal vote that would allow House Republican lawmakers to subpoena witnesses and Trump’s defense team to cross-examine witnesses.

The GOP leader said Democrats, emboldened by their new majority after the 2018 midterm elections, “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 the impeachment process was beginning,” he said. “This is just further evidence that this was what they had in mind from the very beginning.”

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