Led By McConnell, GOP Senators Vow To ‘Quickly Quash’ Any Effort To Hold Trump Accountable
Instructed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Republicans are vowing to block any effort to hold President Donald Trump accountable for his alleged criminal actions while in office, by quickly quash any articles of impeachment that pass the House.
Republicans said there are no grounds to impeach Trump and is daring Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to embark on what they dismiss as a fool’s errand that will turn off swing voters.
“My response to them is go hard or go home,” said Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over impeachment. “If you want to impeach him, stop talking. Do it. Do it. Go to Amazon, buy a spine and do it. And let’s get after it.”
“I think the public will feel like it’s more harassment,” he predicted, according to The Hill.
Republicans say that Democrats will feel a political backlash if they go forward and impeach Trump.
“It’s a risky strategy on their part. I know they’re under a lot of pressure to do it, but if you’re the leadership over there, you got to think long and hard about what the implications are if it looks like you’re overreaching,” Senate Republican Whip John Thune (S.D.) said.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, said, “You can’t tell me they’re talking about impeachment when the president is cooperating with them 100 percent to release these things.”
“It’s premature to talk about impeachment,” he said.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a staunch Trump ally, signaled the House impeachment push would hit a dead end in the Senate.
“I think the Democrats have made this such a partisan exercise that I think most of the public has discounted the idea of it, because I think most believe that it’s become sort of a political attack on the president and nothing more,” he said.
Paul, however, said it’s hard to predict exactly how events will unfold in the Senate because so little is known about the latest allegations.
Trump has acknowledged that military aid was withheld from Ukraine and that he discussed former Vice President Joe Biden with Zelensky during a discussion on corruption. He has said there was no quid pro quo between the two issues and that there was nothing improper in his communications.
A whistleblower within the administration did file a complaint, and the administration has refused to turn that over to lawmakers. While Trump said he would give Congress the transcript of his call with Zelensky, he did not mention the whistleblower complaint.
Senate experts say that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is required to act on House-passed articles of impeachment, which would require 67 votes, or a two-thirds majority, to convict the president.