World Mitch McConnell's Vote That Donald Trump Trial Is Unconstitutional Contradicts Own Memo
Mitch McConnell Comes Out Against Marjorie Taylor Greene With Removal Efforts Underway
Few Republicans have condemned Greene's beliefs which include anti-Semitic, anti-Islamic and baseless claims about school shootings and child abuse.He is one of the few Republicans to openly speak against the freshman congresswoman, even as Democrats move to get Greene removed from her recent assignments to the House Committee on Education and Labor and the House Budget Committee as well as preventing her from getting placed on any other influential congressional committees in the future.
Senate Minority Leader(R-KY) voted on Tuesday to declare former President 's upcoming impeachment trial in the unconstitutional.
He was one of 44 Republican senators who voted to dismiss the trial, while sixcrossed the aisle and voted with the affirming that the process was allowed by the Constitution.
Pat Toomey Calls Trump's Upcoming Trial 'Constitutional,' Says QAnon Has No Place Within GOP
The Republican lawmaker assessed that it's "very unlikely" that Trump will be convicted by the Senate.At the end of January, Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky called for a vote on whether or not the Senate trial would be unconstitutional, because Trump is no longer in office. Just five Republican senators, including Toomey, voted with Democrats to say that the trial would be constitutional—making the vote breakdown 55 to 45. That vote has been widely interpreted to signal Trump will be acquitted, as at least 67 senators would need to vote in favor of conviction for it to pass.
However, McConnell's vote appears to contradict a memo he circulated to his GOP colleagues in early January outlining how an impeachment trial might take place in the days after Trump had left office.
In the memo, obtained by The Washington Post on January 9, McConnell said that the earliest a trial could take place was January 19—the day before Presidentwas due to take the oath of office.
Importantly, the memo also stated that the Senate trial could be scheduled for after Trump had left the White House.
The Senate would have had to consider any articles of impeachment submitted by the House of Representatives on January 19 or 20, the memo noted.
"The Senate impeachment rules provide that at 1pm the day after the [House Impeachment] Managers exhibit the articles before the Senate, the Senate must proceed to their consideration," McConnell's memo said.
12 Senators Will Serve as Impeachment Trial Jurors for a Third Time
Just over two decades ago, a dozen senators were already serving in the Senate during former President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial.Presidential impeachments were incredibly rare throughout U.S. history, with the first taking place in 1868 against former President Andrew Johnson. That impeachment resulted in a narrow acquittal in the Senate. The next presidential impeachment trial did not take place until 1999, when former President Clinton was put on trial. Clinton was also acquitted, as was Trump during his first Senate trial on February 5, 2020.
"The Senate trial would therefore begin after President Trump's term has expired — either one hour after its expiration on January 20, or twenty-five hours after its expiration on January 21."
This acknowledgement that an impeachment trial can take place after a president has left office appears to undercutbecause he is now a private citizen.
The trial could not have taken place earlier than January 19 without the unanimous consent of all 100 senators, which was unlikely. The House delivered the single article of impeachment to the Senate on January 25. The unprecedented second impeachment trial began this week.
Colorado State Representative Steven Woodrow, a Democrat, pointed out this apparent contradiction onon Tuesday.
"I know we're all suffering from information overload, but @LeaderMcConnell said a month ago that the earliest an #ImpeachmentTrial could start would be Jan. 19th," Woodrow wrote.
Disputing Donald Trump Trial Constitutionality Helps Senate GOP Deflect Tougher Questions
The former president's second Senate impeachment trial is underway, focused on his actions surrounding the events of January 6.On the first day of proceedings, senators voted on whether it was constitutional to try Trump now he is no longer in office—with only six Republicans from the upper chamber voting to move forward with the trial.
"So according to him there was a 24 hour Constitutional 'impeachment window.'"
An impeachment trial can be a long process, especially if witnesses are called, so it's unlikely the trial could take place in a 24-hour period. McConnell's memo acknowledged that a trial would mean the Senate staying in session "until a final judgement shall be rendered."
On Tuesday, the six GOP senators who voted to proceed with the trial. Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski warned that dismissing the trial could set an unwelcome precedent.
"The vote today was not about President Trump. It was about the Senate retaining jurisdiction to try a former official who was impeached while in office for acts done while in office," Murkowski said.
"The Senate should not be so quick to forever give away its power to take corrective actions that may, at some point, be necessary."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been asked for comment on this article.
Read Donald Trump's Full Statement on Mitch McConnell, His First Since Impeachment .
In his first full statement since being impeached by the House, former President Donald Trump said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was "seriously hurting our Country."McConnell voted to acquit Trump in Trump's impeachment trial on Saturday. Trump allegedly incited the U.S. Capitol riot in January with his rhetoric on election fraud. After the vote, McConnell said Trump was "practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day." On Monday, Trump referred to McConnell as "dour" and "sullen.