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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will not consent to reconvene the U.S. Senate on Friday under emergency authorities.
This is crucial because the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives appears set to impeach President Donald Trump this week.
McConnell’s refusal to reconvene the Senate will delay the start of Trump’s likely impeachment trial until Jan. 19 at the earliest.
If the House votes to impeach Trump for incitement of the Capitol riot last week, that likely means the trial would not begin in the U.S. Senate until after President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
Rumors began swirling this week that McConnell supports impeaching President Trump from office.
McConnell has not openly come out and verbalized his favor of impeachment.
However, 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.
The NYT report added:
As more violent images from the mayhem wrought by the rioters emerged on Tuesday, including of the brutal attack that ultimately killed a Capitol Police officer, and as lawmakers were briefed about threats of more attacks on the Capitol, rank-and-file Republican lawmakers grew angrier about the president’s role in the violence.
Yet as they tried to balance the affection their core voters have for Mr. Trump with the now undeniable political and constitutional threat he posed, Republican congressional leaders who have loyally backed the president for four years were still stepping delicately. Their refusal to demand the president’s resignation and quiet plotting about how to address his conduct highlighted the gnawing uncertainty that they and many other Republicans have about whether they would pay more of a political price for abandoning him or for continuing to enable him after he incited a mob to storm the seat of government.
Vice President Mike Pence Pence released a letter on Tuesday evening announcing that he will not invoke the 25th Amendment against President Donald Trump.
In the letter, Pence responded to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi by saying impeaching the president with just a week left in his presidency would further divide the nation.
“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.”