Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has effectively killed the efforts to remove President Donald Trump from office through impeachment, after denying to convene an emergency session on the process. On Wednesday, McConnell rejected the Democrat-led plan to hold trial over the Article of Impeachment that has been introduced against Trump.
McConnell’s press secretary, Doug Andres, said that the Senator refused to sanction the move.
Without an emergency session, the Senate will only reconvene on Jan. 19. As President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration is set for Jan. 20 and an impeachment trial would most likely take longer than a single day, McConnell’s decision renders the efforts to oust Trump effectively useless.
Some Democrats have proposed holding Trump’s impeachment’s trial once Biden’s term has already begun, but such suggestions have been called unconstitutional, including by J. Michael Luttig, a former judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.
“It appears that even if the House of Representatives impeaches President Trump this week, the Senate trial on that impeachment will not begin until after Trump has left office and President-Elect Biden has become president on Jan. 20,” Luttig wrote in the Washington Post. “That Senate trial would be unconstitutional.”
Some senators have criticized the efforts to impeach Trump, and pointed out that any article passed in the House of Representatives is not likely to see support in the Senate.
“I think, my arithmetic, that means we have 19 Republicans. I don’t see that. And I think the House should know that also. We have been trying to send that message over. They know the votes aren’t there. You would think that they would do that,” said Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin.
“I think this is so ill-advised for Joe Biden to be coming in, trying to heal the country, trying to be the president of all the people, when we’re going to be so divided and fighting again. Let the judicial system do its job,” he added. “And then, we’re a country of the rule of law. That’s the bedrock of who we are. Let that take its place. Let the investigations go on. Let the evidence come forth, and then we will go forward from there. There’s no rush to do this impeachment now. We can do it later if they think it’s necessary.”