McConnell on Impeachment: 'We'll Take the Matter Up'

By Susan Jones | October 17, 2019 | 6:20am EDT
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaks to reporters on Oct. 16, 2019. (Photo: Screen capture)

( - "We intend to do our constitutional responsibility" by holding an impeachment trial, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told a news conference on Wednesday.

McConnell was speaking hypothetically, since the full House has not yet voted to impeach President Donald Trump -- or even to open a formal impeachment inquiry. Yet it's clear which way the political winds are blowing.

"This matter's being looked at in the House," McConnell said, noting that some anti-Trumpers have been calling for his impeachment since he was first elected.

"They've been looking at doing this for three years. It looks like they've got their courage up," McConnell said.

They're going to do it. If they're going to do it, at least they ought to provide him the kind of due process protection that we provided President Clinton in a similar situation years ago.

Under the impeachment rules of the Senate, we'll take the matter up. The chief justice will be in the chair. We will have to convene every day, six days out of seven, at 12:30 or 1 o'clock in the afternoon.

McConnell said in the meantime, as the House pursues "this epic impeachment process," Trump is entitled to having a formal House inquiry, which would give Republicans the right to subpoena their own witnesses, among other protections.

"At least it seems to me, if they're going to go forward, providing fundamental fairness and due process is appropriate."

McConnell on Wednesday tweeted that Democrats are so obsessed with impeachment, they are forgetting about what's best for their constituents.

President Trump retweeted what McConnell wrote on Wednesday, as follows: "Speaker Pelosi is still blocking the USMCA, a major trade deal that would create 176,000 new American jobs. Senate Democrats have filibustered defense funding and blocked a pay raise for our troops. Democrats' impeachment obsession is blocking urgent work for American families."


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