Mitch McConnell promised Sean Hannity that he was going to work with Trump to hold a sham impeachment trial, but he doesn’t have the votes yet to do it.
Here is McConnell laying out his plan for a sham trial:
WATCH: @SenateMajLdr is saying his priority is defending the president, not the rule of law. POTUS is being impeached for abusing his power by extorting a foreign govt to help himself politically. @SenateGOP owes allegiance to the people & the Constitution—not president & party. pic.twitter.com/SMwDlAZ6rO
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) December 13, 2019
There is only one problem. McConnell doesn’t have the 51 votes that he needs to implement his plan.
According to The Plum Line:
McConnell could of course refuse, and instead call a full Senate vote on a process that precludes witness testimony and the soliciting of documents — which McConnell reportedly favors, because he wants a quick trial with no circuslike calls for Hunter Biden’s head — and no damning new revelations. If that passed by simple majority, that would become the process.
Of course, McConnell might not have 51 votes for such a process — because a handful of vulnerable GOP senators might balk at voting for something so obviously rigged to protect Trump. Indeed, reporting indicates he doesn’t have those votes yet — which means he can’t yet do what he promised Hannity he’d do.
Mitch McConnell doesn’t have the votes to blow off Trump’s impeachment trial. There is still a chance that a few Republican Senators will come together and demand a full trial. If this happens, everything that Mitch McConnell promised relating to the structure of the trial will go up in smoke.
The sham trial is not a done deal yet, and if the American people push hard enough, it may never become a reality.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association