McConnell privately backs Trump impeachment in hopes it will "purge him from the party": report

www.salon.com
5 min read
fairly difficult
House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy has also reportedly decided not to oppose the impeachment vote.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has privately said that he is "pleased" that Democrats are moving to impeach President Donald Trump in the wake of last week's Capitol riot, according to The New York Times.

McConnell has told associates he believes Trump committed "impeachable offenses," according to the report, and thinks it will make it "easier to purge him from the party." Fox News' Laura Ingraham confirmed that McConnell will not oppose impeachment and is "done with Trump" after fellow host Sean Hannity tried to dismiss the report as "salacious nonsense." None of the Republican leaders have denied the report since it came out Tuesday evening.

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Axios later reported that there is a "better than 50-50 chance" that McConnell would vote to convict Trump and remove him from office. At least five House Republicans, including Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 Republican in the chamber, have said they plan to vote to impeach Trump. Several Republican senators have left the door open to removing the president but it would require 67 votes to convict Trump after a Senate trial. That remains an unlikely reach in an evenly divided 50-50 chamber, given that Republican voters still overwhelmingly support the president. Following last week's violence at the U.S. Capitol, some Republicans have even expressed concern that they could be killed if they support impeachment.

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who backed objections to the Electoral College results last week, opposes the impeachment vote but has asked fellow party members whether he should call on Trump to resign and has reached out to Democrats to see if they would be willing to support a vote to censure the president, according to the Times. McCarthy and other party leaders have decided not to press their members to oppose the vote even though McCarthy has publicly said that impeachment would "divide our country more."

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