McConnell: Trump’s Original Sin Was ‘That He Won, and They Lost’

Melanie Arter | February 4, 2020 | 3:32pm EST
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(Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

( – In a speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that the Democrats have been trying to impeach President Donald Trump since he beat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election and that his “original sin” was that he won, and the Democrats lost.

“Democrats think President Donald Trump committed a high crime or misdemeanor the moment he defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. That is the original sin of this presidency, that he won, and they lost,” the majority leader said one day before the Senate votes on whether to remove Trump from office.

McConnell argued that the two articles of impeachment that led to Trump’s impeachment in the House weren’t the first ones introduced by House Democrats.

“The articles of impeachment before us were not even the first ones House Democrats introduced. This was a go around number of roughly seven. Those previously alleged high crimes and misdemeanors, Mr. President, included things like being impolite to the press and to professional athletes,” McConnell said.

“It insults the intelligence of the American people to pretend this was a solemn process reluctantly begun because of withheld foreign aid. No, Washington Democrats’ position on this has been clear literally for years,” he said. 

“Their position was obvious when they openly rooted for the Mueller investigation to tear our country apart and were disappointed, disappointed when the facts proved otherwise. It was obvious when they sought to impeach the president over and over,” the majority leader said.

Ever since Trump won the 2016 election, “the nation has suffered through a grinding campaign against our norms and institutions from the same people who keep shouting that our norms and institutions need defending, a campaign to degrade our democracy and delegitimize our elections from the same people who shout that confidence in our democracy must be paramount,” he said.

“We’ve watched a major American political party adopt the following absurd proposition: We think this president is a bull in a China shop, so we are going to drive a bull dozer through the China shop to get rid of him,” McConnell said.

“This fever led to the most rushed, least fair, and least thorough presidential impeachment inquiry in American history. The House inquiry over President Nixon spanned many months. The special prosecutor's investigation added many more months. With President Clinton, the independent counsel worked literally for years. It takes time to find facts. It takes time to litigate executive privilege, which happened in both those investigations,” he noted.

“Litigating privilege questions is a normal step that investigators of both parties understood was their responsibility, but this time, no lengthy investigation, no serious inquiry. The House abandoned its own subpoenas. They had an arbitrary political deadline to meet. They had to impeach by Christmas,” McConnell said.

“So in December, House Democrats realized the framers’ nightmare, a purely partisan majority approved two articles of impeachment over bipartisan opposition. And after the speaker of the House delayed for a month in a futile effort to dictate Senate process to senators, the articles finally arrived over here in the Senate,” he added.


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