McConnell Says Impeachment Cannot Begin Until January 19

Written by Carmine Sabia

OPINION | This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

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House Majority Leader and Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell has shown what an impeachment against President Donald Trump would look like.

He sent the summary to Republican leaders if the Democrat run House does approve another impeachment of President Trump as is expected, Fox News reported.

“The Senate is currently in recess and is holding pro forma sessions every three days until January 19. Pursuant to the unanimously approved order setting up the recess and these pro forma sessions, the Senate may conduct no business until January 19,” he said as he noted that the Senate will have two pro forma sessions next week on Tuesday and Friday.

“Without unanimous consent, the Senate may not conduct any business of any kind during pro forma sessions, including beginning to act on received articles of impeachment from the House,” he said.

“Assuming such unanimous consent is not given, the following would take place under the Senate Impeachment Rules when the Senate resumes regular session on January 19,” he said.

If the House votes to follow through with articles of impeachment against the president before Jan. 19 — the day before Biden’s inauguration — the Senate will receive a message indicating that the House impeached the president while the Senate is in recess.

All 100 senators would have to agree to conduct “any business of any kind” during the two pro-forma sessions to begin assessing articles of impeachment before the next regular session on Jan. 19, the letter states. 

McConnell then laid out possible scenarios for Jan. 19, 20 and 21, essentially saying that unless Chief Justice John Roberts presides over an impeachment trial starting on Jan. 19, and unless House managers exhibit articles before the Senate on the same day the Senate is informed on impeachment on Jan. 19, the Senate trial would likely “begin after President Trump’s term has expired.”

House Speaker and California Rep. Nancy Pelosi appears to be moving forward with an Article of Impeachment against the president this week.

And as Sen. McConnell is against doing anything for impeachment before Jan 19. There are some Republicans who want impeachment, CNN reported.

A growing number of Republicans want President Donald Trump to leave office before January 20, with some top lawmakers telling CNN they are considering supporting his impeachment.

Two Republican members of Congress who are former Trump allies told CNN they would support impeachment against the President over his role in Wednesday’s deadly attack on the US Capitol if the articles are reasonable. One member said, “I think you will have GOP members vote for impeachment.”

While the window is narrowing for an impeachment vote and trial before Trump’s term ends, one of the GOP lawmakers said the proceedings could be done quickly.

“We experienced the attack,” the lawmaker said to CNN. “We don’t need long hearings on what happened.”

Rep. Adam Kinzinger is another House member who called for the removal of the president, but not by means of impeachment.

“Here’s the truth. The president caused this. The president is unfit and the president is unwell. And the president now must relinquish control of the executive branch voluntarily or involuntarily,” he said in a video.

“All indications are that the president has become unmoored, not just from his duty, nor even his oath, but from reality itself,” the representative said. “It’s for this reason that I call for the vice president and members of the Cabinet to ensure the next few weeks are safe for the American people  and that we have a sane captain the ship.”

“Until the president is able to himself. It’s time to invoke the 25th Amendment and to end this nightmare,” he said.

On MSNBC later in the day he said “I think it’s obvious that there are people that their own political survival demands that they create a different narrative to what happened yesterday, and creating a different narrative is going to lead to something like this happening again, or maybe worse.”

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is another who said that she wants the president gone, and even threatened to leave the Republican Party if it does not happen.

“I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage,” she said in the interview with the publication.

“I think he should leave. He said he’s not going to show up. He’s not going to appear at the at the inauguration. He hasn’t been focused on what is going on with COVID. He’s either been golfing or he’s been inside the Oval Office fuming and throwing every single person who has been loyal and faithful to him under the bus, starting with the vice president,” the senator said.

“He doesn’t want to stay there. He only wants to stay there for the title. He only wants to stay there for his ego. He needs to get out. He needs to do the good thing, but I don’t think he’s capable of doing a good thing,” she said.

“If the Republican Party has become nothing more than the party of Trump, I sincerely question whether this is the party for me,” she said.