OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will not consent to reconvene the U.S. Senate for an emergency impeachment against President Donald Trump.
This is crucial because the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to impeach the president.
“McConnell spokesman Doug Andres confirmed that McConnell’s office called Schumer and told him they would not consent to an emergency reconvening,” the New York Post reported.
McConnell’s refusal to reconvene the Senate essentially means that Trump’s impeachment trial will not begin until after Jan. 20, which is when President-elect Joe Biden takes office and Democrats assume control of the Senate.
To make matters even more confusing, there seems to be real confusion around where McConnell stands on impeaching Trump.
On Wednesday evening, McConnell told Republicans that he isn’t sure if he would vote to convict Trump.
WASHINGTON (AP) — McConnell says in letter to colleagues that he has not decided how to vote on Trump's impeachment at trial.
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) January 13, 2021
However, a report broke earlier this week alleging that McConnell supports impeaching Trump from office.
McConnell has not openly come out and verbalized his favor of impeachment.
Sources close to the Senate leader allege that he’s informed colleagues that Trump engaged in impeachable acts; likewise, rumors assert that McConnell sees impeachment as an easier road to removing Trump and Trumpism from the Republican Party, according to the New York Times.
The NYT reported:
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, has told associates that he believes President Trump committed impeachable offenses and that he is pleased that Democrats are moving to impeach him, believing that it will make it easier to purge him from the party, according to people familiar with his thinking. The House is voting on Wednesday to formally charge Mr. Trump with inciting violence against the country.
At the same time, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader and one of Mr. Trump’s most steadfast allies in Congress, has asked other Republicans whether he should call on Mr. Trump to resign in the aftermath of the riot at the Capitol last week, according to three Republican officials briefed on the conversations.
If the reports are true, it would mean the two most powerful Republicans in Congress are privately expressing support for impeaching Trump just days before his term ends.
Vice President Mike Pence Pence released a letter on Tuesday evening announcing that he will not invoke the 25th Amendment against President Donald Trump.
“I do not believe such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with the Constitution,” Pence wrote in a letter to Pelosi released Tuesday night.
“Last week, I did not yield to pressure to exert beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election, and I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our nation,” he added.
Pence wrote that using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump would “set a terrible precedent.”
Beyond that, the Senate impeachment trial could get interesting.
After Jan. 20, the Senate will be split at 50-50, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote for Democrats.
So, 17 Senate Republicans would need to flip and vote in favor of impeaching Trump in order to convict him.
If Trump is out of office, why does this even matter?
Trump has expressed interest in potentially running for president again in 2024. If the Senate votes to convict Trump, it would bar him from another White House run.