Republican leader Senator Mitch McConnell is reportedly “pleased” about the idea of a second Trump impeachment, telling sources that he believes President Trump “committed impeachable offenses”, according to a late Tuesday New York Times report.
McConnell believes impeachment will make it easier to “purge [Trump] from the party” ahead of a Wednesday House vote to formally charge Trump with inciting violence against the country.
Meanwhile, Trump ally and minority leader Kevin McCarthy of California has asked other Republicans whether he should call for Trump to resign in the aftermath of the events at the Capitol last week. McCarthy and others have decided not to formally lobby Republicans to vote against the impeachment. He is said to have reached out to Nancy Pelosi to gauge interest in pursing a censure vote, though Pelosi has reportedly ruled it out.
McConnell has indicated that he “wants to see the specific article of impeachment that the House is set to approve on Wednesday,” the Times wrote. President-elect Biden even spoke to McConnell on Tuesday to ask about the possibility of “a dual track that would allow the Senate to confirm Mr. Biden’s cabinet nominees and hold a Senate trial at the same time”.
The article is expected to draw support from “as many as a dozen” Republicans.
McConnell was outspoken after the Senate reconvened on Wednesday last week, stating “This failed attempt to obstruct the Congress, this failed insurrection, only underscores how crucial the task before us is for our Republic. Our nation was founded precisely so that the free choice of the American people is what shapes our self-government and determines the destiny of our nation.”
Taken together, McConnell and McCarthy’s respective stances represent a shift in sentiment and a break from Trump within the Republican party heading into the last days of the President’s term.
Trump, on the other hand, has remained steadfast, stating on Tuesday that his remarks to his supporters were “totally appropriate,” and that the idea of impeachment was “causing tremendous anger”.