Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday warned his colleagues not to predetermine President Donald Trump’s guilt regarding two articles of impeachment before they even hear the House managers present their case.
The Kentucky Republican said that some Democrats have been attempting to impeach the president since he was inaugurated in January 2017, including House impeachment co-manager Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.).
The New York liberal campaigned for his chairmanship of the House Judiciary Committee on his alleged expertise in handling impeachment cases.
The push to impeach Trump “isn’t really about Ukraine policy or military assistance money,” McConnell said on the Senate floor in Washington, D.C..
“Presidential impeachment may be the gravest process our constitution contemplates. It undoes the people’s decision in a national election, going about it in this subjective, unfair, and rushed way is corrosive to our institutions,” he added.
“It hurts national unity, and it virtually guarantees—guarantees—that future Houses of either party will feel free, free to impeach any future president because they don’t like him,” said McConnell.
While “House Democrats may have descended into pure factionalism,” the Senate was designed by the founding fathers “to stabilize our institutions, to break partisan fevers, to stop short-term passions from destroying our long-term future,” McConnell added.
McConnell has repeatedly derided the impeachment case built against Trump, calling it “weak” and “half-baked.”
He has also refused to insert the issue of whether or not to call witnesses into the first chamber vote on adopting procedural rules for impeachment.
In doing so, he cited precedent established during President Bill Clinton’s 1999 trial. And he has said he would be surprised if Trump wasn’t acquitted.