Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to acquit President Donald Trump in the Senate if he’s impeached in the House, not just dismiss the charges against him, two senators told CNN on Wednesday.
CNN reports: Republicans want to have a vote on acquittal — to clear the President of the charges against him — not simply rely on a 51-vote threshold procedural motion to dismiss the hotly disputed case.
The Constitution mandates 67 votes are required to convict the President and remove him from office, a barrier widely considered too high to be reached in this case.
One vote McConnell can’t rely on is that of Vice President Mike Pence, who has “no role in impeachment,” according to a GOP leadership aide, despite being president of the Senate with the mandate to break ties.
One of the senators, speaking anonymously, said McConnell would not call a vote on a motion to proceed to the impeachment articles unless he knew he had the 51 votes needed to end the trial, which would then set up a final vote on the articles themselves. On that final vote, 67 votes would be needed to convict Trump and remove him from office.
Speaking to CNN on the record, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) argued that it “would make more sense” to vote on impeachment articles than on a motion to dismiss. Cornyn noted the second option would mean the Senate would “decide this on a 51-vote threshold, with the potential tie and all the recriminations that would flow from that.” – READ MORE