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Weekend Reads McConnell leans into impeachment fight

00:05  17 october  2019
00:05  17 october  2019 Source:   thehill.com

‘Out on a limb’: Inside the Republican reckoning over Trump’s possible impeachment

  ‘Out on a limb’: Inside the Republican reckoning over Trump’s possible impeachment The GOP is paralyzed as lawmakers weigh their political futures, their legacies and their allegiance to a president who has held them captive. President Trump’s moves to pressure a foreign power to target a domestic political rival have driven his party into a bunker, with lawmakers bracing for an extended battle led by a general whose orders are often confusing and contradictory. Should the House impeach Trump, his trial would be in the Senate, where the Republican majority would decide his fate.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is leaning into the fight against the House Democrats' impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell argued from the Senate floor Thursday morning that the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump is "the most rushed, least thorough, and most unfair" in modern history.

John Barrasso, Mitch McConnell, Roy Blunt, Joni Ernst are posing for a picture: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell accused the Democrats of ignoring © Greg Nash Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell accused the Democrats of ignoring "fairness and due process." 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is leaning into the fight against the House Democrats' impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

McConnell on Wednesday, for the second time in two days, lashed out at House Democrats from the Senate floor, painting them as too focused on the inquiry to work on legislation.

"All their energy is going into this all-consuming impeachment parade that has been rolling on for three years now," McConnell said. "Speaker Pelosi's efforts to hold back her left-wing caucus have officially crumbled and the House has thrown itself into impeachment."

'Tell the truth ... for a change': ex-President Carter's advice to Trump

  'Tell the truth ... for a change': ex-President Carter's advice to Trump Former Democratic U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Tuesday called on President Donald Trump to cooperate with Congress' impeachment inquiry, saying his refusal to comply with lawmakers' requests has left Americans grappling for answers. The Republican leader faces allegations he abused his office by pushing Ukraine to investigate his political rival Joe Biden. Earlier on Tuesday, the Trump administration blocked a key witness from appearing before three House committees, prompting a subpoena. "Tell the truth, I think, for a change," Carter told MSNBC when asked what advice he would give Trump.

McConnell told his colleagues at a hastily called meeting of GOP senators on Tuesday afternoon that there weren’t yet 51 firm Republican votes to block calling witnesses, according a GOP aide. But senior Republicans were publicly more confident on Wednesday that the trial would soon end.

Senate Republicans are wrestling with a momentous dilemma over whether to call witnesses in Donald Trump's trial in a closed-door tussle that risks antagonizing the President and fueling Democrat claims of a cover-up.

Democrats are at the start of an inquiry focused on whether Trump held up Ukraine aid as part of an effort to pressure the government to open up an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

Trump and his allies have lashed out at Democrats for not holding a formal vote to open the impeachment inquiry. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has said that a vote isn't required under the rules and doubled down on Tuesday reiterating that they would not hold a vote.

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But McConnell knocked Democrats on Wednesday, suggesting they were ignoring "fairness and due process."

"The Democrats' process already speaks for itself. For the first time ever, Speaker Pelosi has simply ordered the House to conduct an inquiry into impeaching a President without a full vote of the House. Just yesterday, the Speaker doubled down on this unprecedented and undemocratic process by once again refusing to hold a vote on an impeachment inquiry," he said.

Pelosi has tried to highlight the broader Democratic agenda despite the ongoing focus on impeachment, including holding a press conference on Tuesday on college affordability. Last month she repeatedly asked reporters if they had policy questions before turning to impeachment.

The Senate is currently scheduled to vote on a slate of Trump nominees this week, including confirming the next Air Force secretary. Republicans are also trying to build pressure on Democrats to take up Trump's trade deal with Canada and Mexico.

"The Democrats would rather fight with the White House than work with Republicans and the administration to pass legislation. ... Senate Republicans have been ready and waiting for weeks and months to do our part and actually make law on these subjects for the benefit of American families. We just need our counterparts across the Capitol to get serious about this," McConnell said.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) defended Pelosi, saying the "task was thrust upon them."

"I know our colleagues in the House of Representatives did not run for office to begin an impeachment inquiry, but this task was thrust upon them by the president's alleged conduct and the demands of our Constitution," he said.

Trump should be very worried about Senate Republicans .
They won't defend him on the merits.Think of Senate Republicans’ current antics protesting “secret” House hearings on impeachment — in which Republicans sit on the relevant committees — as not simply spurious (recall that Benghazi depositions were held by the House in private), but a warning sign to President Trump that his allies in the Senate seem altogether unwilling to defend him on the merits.

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